The development of an online version of one of the most popular land table games in Portugal proved very successful for the only operator offering it. As the epidemic wiped a large part of the sports betting market off schedule in early 2020, there was a widely reported shift in gambling spending to another level.
In many regions of the world, most of the money traffickers are usually put into the sport that is funneled into online casinos and in particular, the popularity of poker is increasing. But in Portugal, it wasn’t poker that caught the eye of players in the second and third quarters of last year, but a new game – for online at least – called Banca Francesa.
The Gaming1 version of the popular Portuguese table game launched in April last year and is quickly gaining traction, despite being only offered by one operator, Estoril Sol Digital.
Figures released last month by Portuguese regulator Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) show that in the third quarter of last year, Banca Francesa accounted for 3.1% of casino revenue, up from 2.8% in the second quarter.
Although the numbers seem small, they are insignificant when it is assumed that poker tournaments accounted for only 1.9% of the Portuguese casino market in the third quarter, and cash poker 4.8%. And of course poker is offered by multiple operators while Banca Francesa is only available with one operator.
One question is whether its success was a happy accident thanks to its launch as the epidemic escalated. The answer may not be, given the increase in market share between the second and third quarters and also the fact that this game has become the best performing game for Estoril Sol.
The bigger question with broader implications is whether this type of highly localized gaming offering can help operators profit in the emerging new gaming market. Despite having a French name, the game has its origins in Portugal and so far has not been played much in other markets.
Despite refusing to provide a specific number, Estoril Sol Digital CEO Rui Magalhães said the game will definitely attract new players to the site. There are newcomers who have come together especially to play and have fun with our Banga Francesca.
This game is the main draw of a physical casino and we want to bring it to our online, with the interesting idea that the concept can work and it is.
Gaming 1 CEO and co-founder Sylvain Boniver said the idea for online gaming emerged as part of the company’s normal process of looking for ways to help its online partners succeed online. It was then developed for more than a year.
It has been partnering with Estoril Sol since 2016, when it helped the digital land operator digital group Estoril Sol Group launch the country’s first licensed online casino website.
“We visited a land-based casino for our partners in Portugal and this showed us that Banca Francesa is the most popular table game in Portugal, so we decided to adapt it to go online and that’s how the idea was born,” he said.
Since this is the first version of the online game, according to him, there are challenges in terms of rules. The rules are very strict in Portugal, and you have to recreate the same online behavior that happens on the pitch for new games.
Given the game’s popularity, it’s no surprise that Gaming1 has received interest from other operators in the country.
For now, however, Banca Francesa remains exclusive to Estoril Sol, which, according to Magalhães, “is certainly an advantage, as are all the exclusive games we offer”.
Land Based Transition
Part of this profit comes from the opportunity to attract new players and then cross-sell other products and Magalhães says the majority of Banca Francesa players also play other games on the site.
Boniver says the strategy of helping to transition land-based casinos to online spaces with local gaming offerings is one that is also being used in other countries. Almost in every country has its own situs judi online which becomes an online gambling site.
We as a leader in Belgium are based on the fact that we developed some Belgian games from the ground up and put them online.
However, Boniver’s colleague Jean-Christophe Choffray, deputy CEO and head of gaming for Gaming1, said in the past, Gaming1’s efforts in the area had largely been linked to slot games rather than table games.
If you look at the land game market in countries like Belgium you have three types of land permits: you have Class A and all the slot machines there are the same, if you look at the slot machines in casinos in Germany this is the same as the slot machines in Las Vegas. , but you also have class B and class C and usually class B is always market specific.
It is a very different experience for the players, in some of the markets where we work in Game 1, we are working to create an online experience like the one in Belgium where we live. designing this game, the Netherlands, which also owns the industry, the big gambling halls, and Spain, which has a large street industry. “
Choffray said he now saw more potential for localized table games. The markets we want to develop are the United States and the United States of America. Land casinos have several types of poker and blackjack with different specifications. Sometimes they are in just one situation so of course we are going to explore specific possibilities of developing this table game online. “
However, he points out that there are many other factors involved in land operators that make online transitions smooth for players.
All land players, when they become online players, want to know their environment and environment. land casinos as well as the types of games they choose to play. “
Magalhães voiced this sentiment and said that it is not enough just to have a certain game. There are many complexities in all the other variables we manage to ensure the leadership of our online casino in a fast growing market [given] the number and quality of new operators coming in. “
While localized games definitely need support in order to succeed, the example from Portugal seems to suggest that one-market niche games can help operators previously focused on land operations attract more online players. & Nbsp;
Given the important role land operators play in developing US and Latin American markets, this is an example that others may need to follow.
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