WorldMatch, the slot specialist founded by CEO Andrea Boratto in 1999, lays claims to many industry firsts. It was the first gambling company to establish an office in Malta in 2003, before any regulatory body was established.
Malta’s Remote Gaming Regulations followed in 2004 and WorldMatch was the first online gaming provider to secure a licence on the island. Following its Italian launch in 2013, as a wave of dot.country regulation swept Europe, it refocused almost exclusively on regulated markets from 2015 onwards.
An established partner around the world
Today it offers a portfolio of more than 300 games. Its partnerships stretch around the globe. The company started by targeting Italy and Spain in the Mediterranean region. However, they have expanded their reach to new markets through partnerships with companies like Betsson Group and NetBet.
With regulatory developments on the horizon in regions such as Asia and Latin America, De Lorenzi is surprised at the speed and scale of the igaming industry’s evolution.
He had a front row seat for WorldMatch’s growth, joining as an intern in 2007. Today De Lorenzi sits as a key facilitator of its games development and relationship management efforts.
In almost 20 years at WorldMatch, he witnessed “remarkable growth and transformation within the gaming industry”.
“The most significant changes have undoubtedly been driven by advancements in technology,” he explains. “The shift from land-based casinos to online gaming platforms, the emergence of mobile gaming, and the integration of cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality have all been substantial developments.”
With a compound annual growth rate of 13.5% to 2028 online casino stands out as the fastest growing vertical in igaming. So how does WorldMatch aim to ride this wave of change to ensure it sits at the forefront of the market?
How WorldMatch gives players what they want
It’s often said competition in the slots vertical is hitting its peak. Then it keeps getting harder. There’s suppliers building up seemingly unassailable leads in the market, shoring up their positions with M&A activity. New content also faces competition from established games which after more than 10 years on the market still draw in customers.
It’s not enough to innovate in slots, to give players what they want. Instead studios have to guess what the consumer will want in future.
Keeping up with players’ evolving demands and staying ahead of innovation is a core focus for WorldMatch, De Lorenzi says.
“We achieve this by staying agile and responsive to market trends,” he says. “For example, we constantly monitor player preferences and adapt our game offerings accordingly.
“We also invest in research and development to explore new technologies, to enhance the gaming experience.”
Strong partnerships with industry leaders supports these efforts. Working with market-leading brands provides access to expertise and vast global player pools.
All in the game
But what’s most important almost feels too simple. WorldMatch has to create great games that players love.
This means exceptional graphics and gameplay are non-negotiable, De Lorenzi adds, as are easy integrations for clients. “Our commitment to fair play and responsible gaming is another key aspect of our value proposition,” he continues. “We actively seek customer feedback and conduct market research to understand what players want and need.
“This customer-centric approach helps us determine the technology required to stay competitive and meet players’ expectations.”
So what makes a slot stand out from the competition? “Games with unique themes, immersive graphics, and innovative features tend to stand out,” according to De Lorenzi. He doesn’t pick out specific titles, but says there are multiple titles “performing exceptionally well” recently.
And with more than 300, there’s plenty to choose from. Whether it’s the deities of Olympian Fury, to the undersea themed Shark Go and DeeJelly, or even a crazy taxi adventure with Driver JP its range covers popular themes to unique takes on slots.
And De Lorenzi sees plenty opportunity to innovate further, thanks to WorldMatch’s commitment to market research. “We’ve noticed a growing interest in games that incorporate elements of skill-based gaming and gamification,” he says. “Additionally, titles with progressive jackpots continue to be popular due to their potential for substantial payouts.”
The supplier has even factored in an increasing desire among operators for something unique. As more B2C brands seek exclusive content, WorldMatch’s games can be customised or adapted for its partners’ target markets.
WorldMatch around the world
That flexibility for different markets is crucial as the market moves towards dot.country regulation. Almost every European jurisdiction – and all of the largest igaming markets – are locally licensed.
Regulation is not limited to Europe, however. In Asia, the Philippines is ramping up enforcement on illegal gambling. In Latin America, the likes of Peru, Chile and Brazil will expand the regulated igaming market Argentina and Colombia. Even in the US, operators are hopeful of a wave of igaming legislation in 2024.
WorldMatch’s commitment to regulated markets positions it perfectly to take advantage. LatAm in particular will be a key focus, aided by partnerships with NetBet and Salsa Technology.
Adhering to local regulations across various jurisdictions is challenging, De Lorenzi admits, but “essential” for its global operations.
“We have a dedicated compliance team that closely monitors regulatory changes in different regions,” he explains. “We work closely with legal experts and compliance consultants to ensure our games are compliant with local laws and regulations. This involves customising our games and platform features to meet specific jurisdictional requirements.
“While challenging, this commitment to compliance is critical to our success and reputation.”
Finding the perfect partners to support global expansion
By embracing compliance, WorldMatch becomes a more attractive partner to the biggest brands in the industry. Through direct integrations and aggregator partnerships, WorldMatch gaming content is played in more than 100 online casinos around the world. That number continues to grow.
In 2023 to date, the supplier sealed deals with the likes of Bull Gaming, PSM Tech and two Betsson brands – StarCasino and BetFirst – in addition to its NetBet and Salsa Technology partnerships.
Throw in 2022’s client wins and integrations and it’s clear the industry is taking notice of its product range. Last year the likes of Cristaltec, NetWin, Wanabet, Akamai and iSoftBet came on board as partners.
“The decision to collaborate with these partners was driven by shared goals and a strategic fit, as well as the opportunity to leverage their existing player base and expertise,” De Lorenzi explains.
The benefits are clear for operators; as they move into new markets, WorldMatch acts as a trusted and fully compliant collaborator to accelerate their growth.
It’s mutually beneficial, he adds: “These partnerships have allowed us to extend our reach to new markets and player segments.
“We believe that such collaborations will continue to boost our brand visibility and ultimately lead to greater success in the industry.”
WorldMatch looks to the future
WorldMatch is approaching 25 years in industry, evolving far beyond its first steps developing free online games for Italian land-based casinos. De Lorenzi believes its focus on constantly innovating and enhancing its portfolio across regulated markets means the business is on an upwards trajectory.
There’s at least three new titles coming to market each month, and he’s excited about the product roadmap over the coming months – even if we’ll have to wait to see just what it is cooking up.
“While I can’t reveal specific details at this time, I can assure players that we are continuously working on innovative and captivating titles that will be released by the end of this year,” he says.
“These games will incorporate the latest technology and trends in the industry, providing players with fresh and thrilling gaming experiences.”
In a market as competitive as slots few can offer WorldMatch’s heritage and experience but being first, as it was in Malta and in its focus on regulated markets, often means very little. That’s why the supplier’s constant focus on rethinking and redeveloping what is possible in the vertical will be so crucial to ensuring it can compete on a global scale.
“Stay tuned for our upcoming releases,” De Lorenzi adds. “There’s a lot to be excited about!”
Gabriele first encountered WorldMatch in 2007 during an internship for his bachelor’s degree. After his internship ended and he got his bachelor’s in Information and Communication Technology, he stayed at WorldMatch in the game development department. He writes specifications for programmers and artists, exchanging information with mathematicians and compliance offices. He manages relationships with an extensive network of third-party game developers all around the world and maintains customer relationships worldwide. He recently achieved a master’s in intercultural competence communication and conflict management.