Gambling Industry in Eastern Europe: Great Interest and Current Trends

Eastern Europe acts as a hub for gaming development, attracting both the region’s creative minds and entertainment-hungry gamblers to its markets.

The upcoming SBC summit in Tbilisi on June 25-26 will be a key event for this industry in the region. With the support of CasinoBeats, a special two-part publication will be released that will provide a platform for prominent industry figures to highlight their latest work and achievements.

Victoriia Vashukevich, Head of Account Management at 3 Oaks Gaming, Vagelis Bairlis, Sales Manager at Altenar and Svante Sahlström, CCO at Thunderkick, will share their opinions.

Which markets have preoccupied you in the last 12 months?

Viktoriia Vashukevich: We are currently licensed and regulated by the Gambling Supervision Commission in the Isle of Man, the Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom and the National Gaming Office (ONJN) in Romania. 

Our games are certified in Bulgaria, Colombia, Georgia, Isle of Man, Italy, Portugal, and South Africa and are undergoing certification for the UK and Romania followed by the Netherlands amongst others. 

Our growth plans include acquiring licenses in Malta, Greece and Sweden in the near future, whilst Georgia is a very interesting region for us from a competition perspective. We offer high-quality content alongside a cutting-edge portfolio of promotional tools to these markets.

Even though the Italian market is saturated, we strongly believe our games will be warmly received by Italian players, and look forward to seeing how our slots do in all these jurisdictions as 2024 progresses.

Vagelis Bairlis: Our interest in Eastern Europe has always been great, due to the passion of people there for sports in general, but also sports betting. Specifically, we have already been present in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria. Our most recent achievement is getting into the Hungarian and Czech markets as well. 

Svante Sahlström: As well as growing our presence in existing markets, we have been very active in Italy. It is an important country for betting and gaming and has a very vibrant player community who enjoy our games. 

Portugal is a very similar market in southern Europe that is working well for us too. We have also been active in Asia as there is great demand for the sort of games which we produce. Of course, our home market of Sweden, as well as our neighbor Finland, are equally dear to us and we can still grow there too.

Which markets do you plan to focus on in the near future?

Vagelis Bairlis: Obviously, we are focusing heavily on all markets where we have established business (aforementioned in the previous question). 

However, this doesn’t mean that we don’t target to enter markets that we are not active yet and can create growth opportunities for our business, such as Slovakia, Poland, Balkans in general and Greece in particular. 

Svante Sahlström:  As we discussed with clients at ICE, we are set to go live in Ontario which will be a major focus for us in 2024. There are several big-name operators who will go live with some of our most popular games shortly. 

Closer to home, we are exploring options to expand our reach in Portugal further, as well as in the Czech Republic and Romania. Lastly, we have our eyes on Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary. There are exciting times ahead.

Victoriia Vashukevich: Games certification is just the tip of the iceberg and we have a lot to do now. We are live with leading Georgian operators, and now we have the challenging task of finding the key to the audience and what resonates with them. 

Our sales team is working hard to cover Italy, Portugal, and Colombia and we are excited about new opportunities that are coming with Romania and the UK. 

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