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Play’n GO joins the CGA: Expanding into the Canadian igaming market

| By ianchaddock | Reading Time: 4 minutes
As an industry-leading games developer with a portfolio of over 350 premium titles, Play’n GO delivers games to regulated casino operators in more than 30 jurisdictions. Joining the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is part of the developer's expansion plans across the North American igaming market and for Saam Hafezi, head of region North America, strategy and collaboration are key to this success.
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Why was joining the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) important to Play’n GO?

“Being a part of an organization that shares our aims of a sustainable, safety-led industry made perfect sense, and we’re glad the Association accepted our application. As a prominent supplier within Canada, having access to a network with immense knowledge and understanding of how the industry works within that country will only make us a better B2B partner.

Play’n GO isn’t a Canadian company, so it’s our job to listen to the experts within the association. We will share the knowledge we gain with all our teams internally, and we expect the resulting impact to be an even stronger games portfolio.

“Ultimately, we want to contribute positively to the Canadian igaming landscape, as we have done in every market that we do business in, and we believe that our membership of the CGA is a forward step in that direction.”

What opportunities does a CGA Membership bring for Play’n GO, in terms of collaborating with some of the other 70+ members within the Association?

“The opportunities are endless. As I mentioned previously, having access to a network with immense knowledge and understanding of how the Canadian iGaming landscape works, and, more importantly, how it evolves, will be invaluable. With Alberta on the cusp of opening to private regulated actors, we need to obtain firsthand information about that region, so we can be ready to go to them on day one with our products. We want to learn from our fellow CGA members.

“We’re also looking forward to sharing our knowledge of almost 20 years in business with the rest of our CGA partners; we’ve seen the industry evolve around the world, and although we may be competitors with some of the other members of the CGA, at the end of the day we all want a fair and responsible Canadian iGaming market.”

Joining the CGA comes just four weeks after expanding operations into Quebec via a deal with Loto-Quebec. Why is Canada a big focal point for Play’n GO? What are your plans for expansion across this market?

“It is Play’n GO’s objective to be active in every regulated market around the world. We are extremely happy with the way the industry has been unfolding in Ontario since April 2022, and we’re excited to see our new partnership with Loto-Quebec prosper for many years to come; they have been phenomenal to work with thus far.

“Canada is a big part of our North American strategy, which includes the United States, because of the sheer growth opportunities that exist there. We are now licensed in seven states/provinces in North America (Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Connecticut), and we’re hoping to add to this list in the coming months when Alberta opens up.

“With the utmost respect to the uniqueness of Canada, we view each of the Canadian provinces as importantly as we do the US states. Our North American team is based in the US, including myself, but we have such high regard for the industry in Canada that we want to be at the forefront of what’s next; we’ve taken time to develop partnerships and friendships because we believe our products will have an impact within Canada because of the entertaining and responsible manner we develop our game content. We’re confident of replicating the success that we have had globally in the Great White North.”

How does this partnership align with Play’n GO’s core safer gambling values?

“During the Canadian Gaming Show (CGS) in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to sit in some discussions where we were given an overview of the latest news of the Canadian iGaming industry. Listening in, we constantly heard the words “sustainability” and “responsibility” mentioned, which is what we are all about at Play’n GO.

“While we do aim to make profits as any company would, equally we don’t chase short-term gains at the expense of long-term sustainability. Thankfully, the CGA has that same viewpoint.

“Play’n GO does not have games with direct bonus buys, something we’re very proud of. It’s an example of us actually taking actions toward sustainability and responsibility as opposed to just talking about it. We’re incredibly optimistic that this will spread to other organizations; sustainability needs to be an industry-wide approach, so we will continue to drive this conversation across operators, suppliers, and the rest of our industry.”

What do you see happening with the partnership of Play’n GO and the CGA going forward, and does the future look brighter than ever for Play’n GO?

“I see Play’n GO continuing to contribute and benefit from its partnership with the CGA for many years to come. Will learn from the association, and we will share our insights with the organization; the partnership will be a two-way street. Our membership is new so we are still looking to formulate precise strategies, but we’ll be talking to Paul Burns (President and CEO of the CGA) more about how Play’n GO can be a good member for the association in due course.

“The future absolutely looks brighter, this is all a part of our strategic plan; it’s great to see the positive results of a well laid out strategy!”

Saam Hafezi, head of region US at Play'n GO

Saam Hafezi, head of region North America at Play’n GO

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