October 1, 2010
eGaming Review - Q&A with Visionary iGaming CEO, Marty Reiner
Martin Reiner is the CEO of Visionary iGaming, a premier provider of Live Dealer v2.0 casino games. Mr. Reiner has been bringing innovation to Live Dealer egaming since the 2005. Before launching ViG, he was CEO of Vuetec, parent of the Dublinbet brand. Prior to that Mr. Reiner was SVP of Business Development at the Chicago Board of Trade, one of the world's largest derivative exchanges.
eGaming Review (eGR): You have recently made a couple of high-profile hires at senior levels. Does this signal a rebranding of your company's image?
Marty Reiner (MR): Visionary iGaming (ViG) is going through a phase of unprecedented growth. Our third year since inception marks a time where we are transitioning from a new brand in the live dealer market to one that is widely considered among the best live dealer offerings available. Our core product development and initial branding phase is coming to a close. ViG is proud to have clients throughout the world, with its healthy, vibrant growing staff of dealers, IT professionals and senior management enabling us to offer more tables and games every month in our unique dealing style.
Steve Obia made a fantastic addition to the ViG management team in June 2010 as our new general manager and COO, bringing with him enterprise operations and customer service experience from his background at PokerStars and Hewlett Packard. With Steve onboard, our goal is to reach the elusive 100% uptime, (from our current 99%) by further improving our redundancy, upgrading hardware and improving internal procedures. Moreover, Steve's mission is to further expand the scalability of our infrastructure to remain in front of our rapid sales growth.
Our recent hire of Gian Perroni, senior vice president of marketing, with a focus on our turnkey product line, will set ViG on a new course for that business segment. In addition to our world class live games, we will be investing heavily in rounding out our offering for those clients who want a fully functioning egaming website. Gian will lead ViG product development for turnkey websites, which will also include web hosting, payments, customer service and complementary products, including a full suite of RNG games, video poker and slots. Moreover, working closely with Income Access, a leading provider of affiliate management software, Gian will create a network of ViG sites, all with full online affiliate support, with all the bells and whistles a turnkey partner would want. This will include loyalty and bonus programs along with turnkey marketing materials to support and automate player acquisition and retention.
eGR: How does Visionary iGaming set itself apart from its competitors?
MR: ViG's corporate vision statement is: “to be the global leader in enterprise egaming solutions, recognised for its dynamic approach and innovative solutions”. With our Live Dealer 2.0 offering, we feel we are living up to our vision. Our dealing style embraces professionalism and player entertainment at the same time, similar to the experience in friendly land-based casinos. Our dealers and players interact constantly via chat and live microphones, offering a community experience found on no other live dealer network. To meet the needs of the most experienced land-based players, ViG only uses top quality casino hardware that you would find in high end casinos around the world, using Cammegh's most advanced electronic roulette wheels and Shufflemaster's high end card shoes with optical card scanning. We use the same standard size playing cards that you find in Las Vegas or Macau as opposed to oversized cards with bar codes which are often required by older live dealer technologies. Genuine land-based casino hardware plays an important role in delivering a real experience to our online players.
ViG offers innovative and proprietary live games that are only available on our network. Blackjack Early Payout Version 2.0 ™ is a rapidly growing version of live blackjack that allows many simultaneous players a fast-action blackjack experience. Our patented game enables our clients to offer blackjack to all their players at low limit and high limit stakes because of its operational efficiency versus traditional blackjack, which has limited seats and must demand high limits to cover its costs. Later this year, ViG will be launching traditional seven-seat blackjack alongside BJEP v. 2.0, providing a unique environment that offers both a VIP environment and 100% availability at all limit levels for this massively popular game.
In addition to front-office game developments, we are actively innovating our back office too. In 2010, we developed several ways for clients with existing operations and their own back end to integrate with us via API. One of these methods is called ViG One Wallet, in which our games seamlessly use our clients' e-wallet, enabling players to use our games and the clients' other products simultaneously without manual balance transfers.
In the coming months, our clients should expect rapid development of new games and frequent additions of new side bets along with customer promotions that leverage our extremely flexible data architecture that supports our games.
eGR: How does Visionary iGaming plan to meet rapidly growing demand worldwide, and where do you anticipate the most growth?
MR: While our core market of UK and Western Europe continues to grow at a healthy pace, our most active new demand is coming from Asia, where live dealer products are the norm, and from developing markets such as Russia and other Eastern European countries, as well as South America, Central America and Mexico. It has taken us time to penetrate the very tight Asian marketplace, but we are proud to announce that ViG live games are now available in Korea and Taiwan, and will be expanding throughout the region. We have a regional office in Shanghai that is developing a kiosk-based product which we expect to launch in autumn 2010.
As we are based in Central America, it is only logical for us to reach out to our neighbours to the North and South. We feel there is an enormous untapped opportunity in South America, particularly in Columbia, Brazil and Argentina. Given our proximity and the ease at which we can service the Spanish-speaking population, we expect to make major inroads into this community in 2011 and help them embrace the excitement and popularity of live dealer online gaming, tailored to their market.
eGR: How are you managing your current product mix? How do you expect your product needs to evolve?
MR: We are striving to be the HSBC of live dealer gaming – a company with global reach and strength while also appreciating and catering to the local demands of the marketplace. For example, we are presently dealing a roulette game in which Russian is the only spoken language and we will soon have a Russian blackjack table too. As the ViG dealing style that promotes community thrives, we believe many of our clients will prefer a game which is dealt in their first language. While our English games remain the central melting pot of players across many of our clients, we expect to have more regionalised tables in the future.
To increase our global presence and local diversity in 2011, ViG plans to broadcast live games from around the globe, both from our own private casino studios and land based casino partnerships we are presently negotiating.
With respect to the way we deliver live games in 2011, in addition to our current Game Feed, NetCafe (LiveCasinoinaBox™) and growing turnkey product offerings, we expect to develop joint venture relationships with several land-based casino brands that are seeking to expand into online markets. Even US land-based casinos are beginning to explore the online marketplace in preparation for new legislation that will open up the markets there.
eGR: What does the next year hold for the egaming industry? What developments are you most excited about?
MR: In 2010, the live dealer segment of egaming continued to establish itself as a must-have product for any major full-featured website. The live casino tab is already prominently alongside poker, sportsbetting and RNG casinos, having gone from a niche offering several years ago to a legitimate pillar of the egaming offering. We expect this to continue to solidify and grow in 2011, both because of the popularity of the offering itself and increased availability of broadband in high growth markets such as Eastern Europe and South America.
While new markets are just gaining access to broadband, Western markets will continue to evolve with better IT services and equipment to a broader number of households. This enhanced global infrastructure will enable us to develop more real-time video features, in higher quality, numbers and size. Keeping pace with evolving capacity and user preferences provides us with a continuing challenge. We embrace this challenge and seek to innovate our product and services to meet the ever changing global demand and opportunity.