Greentube takes on the world
“We have our war chest filled up with all the ingredients to conquer the market on all fronts whether it will be organic or strategic M&A,” Greentube chief executive Thomas Graf says of the Novomatic subsidiary’s return to the German market.
“In addition to Greentube’s own B2C efforts we are going to also support Novomatic land-based subsidiaries with their efforts to compete in the market with their respective brands and product verticals.”
At a time when emerging US brands are preaching the value of vertical integration, Novomatic, and by extension Greentube, has been operating with a broad range of products and services, both customer-facing and B2B solutions, for a number of years.
This has seen it return to the re-regulated German market, in the wake of the GlüNeuRStV’s implementation on 1 July, competing both as an operator and supplier. As a supplier, it rolled out the first batch of its internationally best performing games – tailored for the myriad restrictions imposed by the new State Treaty – to several online casinos already.
In addition, the market opening saw StarGames, now a B2C brand, move into the market. This marked Greentube’s return to Germany – once its largest B2B territory – after it withdrew as a result of regulatory uncertainty in 2017. The business, as with its parent Novomatic, only operates in locally regulated igaming markets.
That may restrict the number of addressable targets, it also means that Greentube will target any relevant re-regulated market in Europe. As a number of territories have come online, this accordingly has seen it expand rapidly over the past two years, either as an operator or supplier.
In Switzerland it is live with most casinos and is market leader among suppliers; In Poland it has struck a deal with Totalizator Sportowy’s igaming brand Total Casino; in Norway Greentube has been selected as one of only three suppliers to monopoly operator Norsk Tipping; in Canada games were successfully launched with BCLC and Loto Quebec. In Ukraine, which it entered in 2021, its aim is now “to provide our games to all relevant regulated igaming operators in the market,” says Graf.
This will be followed by a move into the Netherlands, which brings to an end another long-running regulatory saga with today’s (1 October) grand opening. There the business has looked to strengthen its hand, through March’s acquisition of Eurocoin Interactive, a long-term partner in the market.
This, Graf explains, was a natural progression: “We have been working with Eurocoin Interactive for many years on various online as well as land-based projects and it was a logical step to strengthen our efforts in preparation of the opening of the Dutch online market to become a leading force when it comes to top notch local game content.
He says that through this deal, which sees Eurocoin become Greentube Netherlands, it has “probably the most talented game design team” in the country, with a strong heritage of locally optimised content for markets such as the Netherlands, Norway and Hungary.
As with Germany, Greentube will leverage its relationships with the wider Dutch Novomatic business, rolling out solutions for its land-based clients, taking popular local titles from brands such as Errèl, JVH and Elam online.
Beyond Europe, it’s making a push into the US, where the launch of real money games looks like it could be a very rewarding business. Golden Nugget Online Gaming is its first customer, initially in New Jersey, ahead of a push into other states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Again, this leverages the broader Novomatic business. “We are in the process of ramping up Greentube’s US sales team at the Novomatic HQ in Chicago to work closely with our land-based team at Novomatic America Sales, in order to use all synergies for an omnichannel product offering,” Graf explains.
This will be supported by a push to enhance the social casino solution, Greentube Pro, with free-to-play variants of its real-money content, as well as providing games for GAN’s Simulated Gaming solution. Greentube is also planning to offer some of its real-money slot titles on land-based slots in the near future.
However amid this network, sports betting is largely conspicuous by its absence. Greentube does have an interest in the vertical that’s currently attracting all attention in the US, with Kambi, Playtech and DraftKings using its Action Book sports betting kiosk.
“We are currently not intending to bring one of our in-house sports betting platforms to the US as we are focusing on major B2C growth opportunities in Europe and Africa,” Graf adds, however.
With Kambi, Greentube is still using their technology for Greentube and Novomatic iGaming brands in Italy, Spain and Romania, as a value-add for casual punters and part of an online casino offering. “Nevertheless, we see continuous growth on these brands for the sports betting vertical as well,” he says.
It’s also worth noting that in Austria, Italy, Spain and now also Germany, Novomatic services a growing number of successful omni-channel sportsbook operations under the Admiral brand. Those are the ones that will spearhead the business’ expansion into the vertical.
“[Within] the Novomatic Group there is a clear strategy to grow our sports betting business outside of the Austrian core market into all markets where the Admiral Casino brand is widespread with retail outlets and increasingly also online.”
The fact Greentube hasn’t made a meaningful push into the US sports betting gold rush adds further credence to the claim that igaming is slower in getting regulated nationwide, but on the upside it proves to be the more profitable product vertical. Recent events involving competitors suggest others are coming to the same conclusion.
And with two long-awaited market openings to contend with on the other side of the pond, it appears the bigger prize may lie elsewhere.