It’s been a while since our last interview, but we are back. Without any doubts, you are going to love it, for this time we interviewed an extraordinary manager from the world of online casinos. Take a moment and have look at our talk with Elaine Gardiner, our dear representative for the well-known Cherry Affiliates. Hope you enjoy it, we sure did.
1) Hello Elaine! You're originally from Scotland, but now living in lovely Malta! Which circumstances have made Malta the centre of gambling industry and gaming companies?
It’s mainly due to the fact that the MGA and Maltese authorities have created a flexible and attractive regulatory environment which endorses the EU's stance on cross border services. Also, the competitive gaming taxes and lower cost of living make it preferable for companies to base themselves out of here due to lower overall operational costs plus its central location and ease of travel to and from the rest of Europe, and the great weather is a great balance for companies wanting to relocate themselves and their staff.
2) All of your 5 casinos (Cherry Casino, EuroSlots Casino, EuroLotto Casino, SveaCasino and SpilleAutomater Casino) are mostly focused on Scandinavia, most popular market nowadays. Is it actually your biggest market and what do you think which market has the potential to become most desired one in gambling world, in the future?
We're leaning more towards Scandinavia more out of tradition, as Cherry Ltd is a Swedish company and we have tables in over 250 restaurant casinos in the country. We have been branching out into new markets, like Germany where we currently hold the Schleswig Holstein License and are consistently growing a market share. We’re also looking emerging markets like Asia, however, before we stretch ourselves too thin, we want to focus our energies on providing the very best gaming experience for our players in our current markets for the moment. .
3) Your casinos are so nice and good looking and their appearance singles them out from the pretty similar looking casino crowd. Do you find the design and looks of an online casino influence the players' choice where to play?
Of course! Everyone looks at the practical impacts the company has. We’re all driven by the design and how we perceive it. With different branding and design, the players get different feelings for different casinos even though the offer is the same.
4) EuroLotto Casino is very social media friendly site. It has it's Facebook page, Twitter, Youtube and G+ accounts! Is social media marketing becoming a big friend of gambling or is it still hard to advertise gambling products and recruit traffic from there?
For online gambling it's very hard. Our social media marketing activities on facebook for example are very restricted – legally, so there’s not too much we can do there. In terms of recruiting traffic, without advertising via paid media, TV and of course affiliates, acquisition just via social media is limited.
5) Speaking of Twitter, what is #WHATWOULDYOUDO, that can be noticed in EuroLotto's footer?
Well, EuroLotto Casino is a social brand; we love hearing from and talking to players and we're working hard to build our community in many channels.
The #WHATWOULDYOUDO hashtag summarises what we believe playing at EuroLotto is all about. It’s the chance to win life changing jackpots from all over the world – it’s the chance to turn dreams into reality.
We believe there probably isn't a person out there who didn't wonder at some point - "If I won the lottery I would…” After all, it's part of the fun!
So, AskGamblers, what would you do?
6) All your casinos are supplied with Yggdrasil games. Some players' predictions say that Yggdrasil's time is still yet to come. Do you think this provider is going to be really big slot game name soon? Is it popular in Scandinavia, since it's related to Norway mythology?
Yggdrasil has very experienced people who came from well established companies. For sure it will be one of the big players in the next few years. It works in Scandinavia, not because of the name, but because of the visuality, and innovation. Scandinavia is quite a mature in the casino market, they are often the first adapters for this and predicting how other markets will follow.
7) What do you think about AskGamblers' Certificate of Trust?
It’s awesome there is a third party, not directly connected to the operator, that is being the voice of the consumers. With AskGamblers influence it puts pressure on business to act fair and remain transparent.
8) I saw some awards that your casinos have achieved. Which operators, which awards and what does it mean to your business?
Cherry Casino has won the Best Gaming Operator of the year for the last 2 years. It’s always fun to be awarded for all our hard work from our peers in the industry, but it’s more important to us what our clients think. It's a welcomed tap on the back, but we’d rather be winning the "People’s Choice" award.
9) Cherry Casino has quite long and impressive history, dating since 1963. Can you describe to our players how did it go, through the years of Cherry's existence, mentioning the most important ones?
Cherry started back in 1963 as was called "Restaurang Rouletter AB" and was a restaurant Casino, located primarily in the south and central Sweden. Fast forward to 1972 and they changed their name to Cherry as we know it today. In 1998 Cherry acquired 35% of NetEntertainment, and in 1999 it starts its Maritime operations. Between 2000-2010 Cherry is a busy company – it acquires the rest NetEntertainment and Betsson, then divides back into 3 parts. It’s often a misconception that Betsson Casino owned Cherry when in fact it’s the other way around. In 2012 Cherry sold it’s Maritime part of the business and now focuses on it’s online and land based operations.
10) Why Cherry Casino and SpilleAutomater Casino don't provide public information about monthly RTP stats?
For us it’s fluctuating over time, if we have a big winner the stats can show misleading percentages. However we’re working with the team internally to publish a list of average RTP stats.
11) What's coming up next in your casinos?
We have a couple of new game providers coming up. We’re just about to launch sports on SpilleAutomater.com as well as adding major lotteries to SpilleAutomater and Cherry Casino. We’ll also shortly be launching Cherry Casino V.2, which will include a site redesign and new functionality.
12) What do you think about no deposit bonuses? Are they slowly becoming a matter of history or you think they're still a good deal for players, casinos and affiliates?
It's always a good deal for players. But at the same time it’s also a good way to get a lot of players and if you are a good casino with a good team behind it, it can be rewarding. I don’t think it’s part of history just yet, I think it will always be around, but it will be more limited than before.
13) What is supposed to happen when you pull the handle of the slot machine placed on EuroSlots Casino's homepage?
Good spot! At the moment we have developed the frontend functionality for the handle, and we're still developing the backend. It will be exciting, so keep watching.
14) What's your movie recommendation?
I’m more of a TV show person, I'm currently jumping between a few from CSI to The Astronauts wives club and everything else in between. But the last movie I saw that was really good was Jurassic World, although I don’t know how Claire managed to keep her high heels on for the whole movie!