Simon Hammon, CPO of Relax Gaming since 2018, has been instrumental to the success of the company’s aggregation services and proprietary content portfolio. Under his leadership, Relax’s casino proposition has cemented a strong reputation for driving studio and partner growth, delivering unmatched speed to market along with rapid, simple integration.
As the casino space becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, differentiation of their products becomes a mounting challenge for operators seeking efficient solutions to engage and expand their audience.
With the gaming ecosystem also continuing to evolve at pace on the supplier side, operators today are faced with an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to finding the content aggregation service that works for them, says Relax Gaming’s CPO Simon Hammon.
“Fragmentation in the industry makes it difficult for operators to find a solution that meets their needs. With hundreds of suppliers and individual solutions, choosing the right one is extremely time-consuming,” he says.
This is why operators should focus on having the infrastructure in place to support an optimal gaming experience, argues Hammon. With this foundation in place, the rest flows naturally. Knowing where to start with the technology is the crucial – and challenging – starting point.
The primary concern when it comes to a content aggregator is functionality. Working in such a heavily regulated industry however means that technology often requires adjustment to meet ever-changing regulatory standards. Consequently, for those using their own bespoke front-end solutions this potentially brings many hindrances to functionality further down the line.
With less time spent on maintaining frameworks to the necessary regulatory and technical standards, teams can devote more of their resources to creating engaging content. Relax Gaming’s new integration framework, Relax Apex, aims to create a solution that supports existing client frameworks and technical solutions while simplifying it with a single integration, says Hammon.
“We all have the same goal, and that’s to make good content and get a broader distribution and that’s where Relax Gaming is trying to bridge that gap and make it effective for them.
“Our primary job as an aggregator is to bring content to market – that requires integration. The whole point of Relax Apex is to provide an additional layer above that to make sure things are as simple, fast and uniform as possible.”
Strength of partnership
Whether the priority for operators is scaling up their game offering or enhancing the content of their games, the stand-out feature of a front-end solution driving these results will be its accessibility. For example, features such as promotional tools are often misused due to their complexity, explains Hammon
Having trust in their aggregation partners is what will empower casino operators to make the most of these types of features, he says.
“That’s a major challenge – I’ve seen operators build brilliant, very innovative stuff, but people don’t use it because they don’t know the supplier well enough, or they’re used to doing it in a certain way.
“That partnership, trust and deliverance to an operator is key, that will help you to ensure that your products are taken, and ensure that you start commanding a trusted developed marketing campaign around the product,” he continues.
Striking a balance
In addition to strong partnerships, operators must believe in their own content and trust their gut. A robust framework is the starting point for a market-ready portfolio but this in itself cannot drive innovation.
While BI and data-driven insights are powerful, their influence is often overestimated. A balance of tech-driven insights and intuition is what truly determines a game’s success, says Hammon.
“You can pull up all the different KPIs and think on a mathematical level or a mechanical flow the elements should work. But ultimately, some of the best theoretical games that I’ve experienced have not been the top performers.
“You have to get three elements correct: The maths flow has to be right, that has to link with how intuitive the game is, and ultimately the design has to encapsulate that.”
Once these elements are in place, operators can focus on development of content, making the most of promotional opportunities, and expanding into new markets.
This matches Relax’s own vision to enter new territories: “We have ambitions to expand into new markets outside of Europe and grow our presence globally. We’re growing rapidly, and part of that journey is making sure that you can continue at that pace.”