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Interactive


ITALIAN MARKET FOCUS VIRTUAL SPORTS


Te reality of Virtuals in Italy


Delivering our Italian market report this month, G3 took the opportunity to speak to Kiron Interactive’s Steven Spartinos about the Virtual Sports market in Italy right now and discuss the gaming sector in general


How are Italian operators using Virtual Sports? Is it a supplemental product or has Virtuals found its own dedicated player base in Italy?


Steven Spartinos Co-founder & co-CEO Kiron Interactive


Steven Spartinos is co-founder and co-CEO of virtual games provider Kiron Interactive. Established in 2001, the specialist supplier now services web, mobile, and land-based sportsbook and casino operators on five continents. Prior to joining the betting and gaming industry, Steven worked in banking and finance.


Football Leagues are a recent introduction into the regulations by ADM as an evolution of the single game format and are widely expected to drive further growth of virtuals in the Italian market.


P128 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / 247.COM


Both. For the Italian player it is fair to say that virtual sports are primarily a complementary product when profiled alongside real sports, but they have certainly drawn widespread interest from a broad base of players across gaming disciplines. We have witnessed significant success in the popularity of our games identifying amplified growth in a dedicated fan base from groups including football fans, racing punters, lottery and VLT players.


Our unique product offering allows operators to present our virtual games in isolation or alongside other gaming products that Italian players have become accustomed to. Te performance of our virtual sports has continued to grow ahead of our competitors’ products.


How popular are Virtual Sports in Italy and which sports are the most popular and why?


Undoubtedly, virtual sports are very popular in the Italian market and that popularity is only going to increase as the experience for players continues to improve with new game formats, following further liberalisation of regulations, and new technologies.


Since becoming the first virtual sports provider to go live in the Italian regulated market in 2013, in partnership with Intralot Italia and Vermantia, we found football, horse racing and greyhound racing to generate the bulk of the revenues.


You only have to turn on the television to see that Italians love football. Serie A features some of the world’s greatest players, with heavyweights including Juventus and Napoli. As such, it is little to no surprise to see that the number one performing virtual sport in Italy is football. However, our horse and dog racing products are similarly performing exceptionally well, to the extent that they come very close to football in terms of overall market share, delivering close to 40 per cent of total revenues. Interestingly enough the virtual versions of other popular betting sports such as table tennis and basketball have not fared as well from a virtual sports perspective.


We recently expanded our reach in Italy, launching a dedicated football leagues satellite channel, in collaboration with VSoftCo, to the Italian market through leading operator Sisal, across their online and retail estate. We are very excited about the prospects of this new format with their customers. Football Leagues are a recent introduction into the regulations by ADM as an evolution of the single game format and are widely expected to drive further growth of virtuals in the Italian market.


We are confident that the growth seen in real sports betting in Italy will have a direct impact on the growth of the virtual sports sector.


How experimental with new virtual sports, different types of bets, is the Italian market?


Te Italian market is highly and effectively regulated. Tis means it is somewhat rigid in


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