NetEnt, a leading Swedish-based digital gaming entertainment company with a presence across Europe and now America, has played a leading role in the Pennsylvania online casino market.
The international company, which has its US office in New Jersey, got initial approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in March and went live in mid-July. NetEnt is currently one of the only game providers operational in Pennsylvania.
The company has about 1,000 employees. Last year they handled more than 44.7 billion gaming transactions. Their market capitalization is $5.9 billion.
Insights from NetEnt’s top US executive
PlayPennsylvania asked the company’s Managing Director Erik Nyman to weigh in on the online casino market.
PlayPA: What makes a good online slot? Is that different from a land-based slot’s appeals?
Nyman: Although there are undoubtedly a lot of synergies between the two channels, it is far from a given that an adaption of a slot that has excelled in the land-based arena will automatically perform well in the digital world. Perfecting the core mechanics, theme, and artwork will always be fundamental to creating a successful title, but with online, you also have to consider functionality across different devices, in addition to new and varying playing styles. We are focused on balancing our portfolio with content that ranges from classic slots for the traditional player to innovative new concepts focused on gamification and the influence of social and video gaming.
How to pick an online slot to play
PlayPA: How should someone new to online slots pick and evaluate which games to try?
Nyman: Players are influenced by familiarity, so it depends entirely on personal experience. A customer who has typically played slots in brick-and-mortar casinos will likely choose a title that reminds them of that environment. Otherwise, they might start off with a big-name branded title, such as Narcos, Jumanji, or Guns n’ Roses, or simply an all-time online top-performer, like Starburst.
Meanwhile, modern, innovative titles like our most recent release Conan and the iconic Gonzo’s Quest™ typically appeal to players who enjoy video games.
The NetEnt portfolio has something for everyone, whether you’re new to online slots or very experienced, and we constantly evolve in line with market demand and changing player preferences.
How to design a compelling online slot
PlayPA: What makes for a compelling game?
Nyman: There is a host of contributing factors to what makes a signature NetEnt title. The first thing to nail down is the mechanics and math model, as this provides the foundation on which to build the theme and artwork. It is the features that create excitement with every reel-spin and keep players engaged throughout the session.
Team that with immersive visuals and audio, together with device functionality and a theme that resonates with a range of players, and you have a recipe for a successful online slot.
How NetEnt got going in PA from Day 1
PlayPA: NetEnt was one of the first suppliers to enter the recently opened Pennsylvanian market. How did you make it to the start of the line so quickly?
Nyman: With a long tradition of land-based gambling, the online Pennsylvanian market promises fantastic opportunity, and being among the first to go live, there was a huge achievement for us.
NetEnt took a firm decision to be ready on Day 1 and, despite regulatory changes such as local hosting and games certification, it was indeed challenging to be operating on July 15.
Many were not ready in time, but we had the largest portfolio of games on Day 1, and we are, so far, the market leader in Pennsylvania, which has been a fantastic achievement. Key internal functions across games, operation, compliance, and of course, commercial have been very focused and worked closely to achieve the best possible market entry and launch with 100% of the operators ready in the early stages with no delay.