Inspired – Combining best-in-class virtuals with quick casino-style betting

Inspired Entertainment is sponsoring Betting on Football 2018, the fifth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Stamford Bridge.

Ahead of the 20-23 March event, we spoke to the company’s Chief Commercial Officer – Digital Games Steve Rogers about what he is looking forward to at #bofcon2018, which innovation he expects to capture the most attention in 2018, and who he is backing to lift the World Cup trophy in Russia.

SBC: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Football?

SR: This will be Inspired’s first time exhibiting and attending Betting on Football and we’re excited to showcase our best-in-class Virtual Sports products to over 1,500 senior delegates from around the globe. We’ll be unveiling our brand-new World Cup variants of scheduled and on-demand Virtual Football products, and also bringing our wider portfolio of games to the show. We are looking forward to the opportunity to network at the various events over the conference and hearing about key developments in the industry.

SBC: What are you promoting at Betting on Football?

SR: Inspired will be showcasing its world-leading Virtual Sports at Betting on Football 2018 and unveiling a brand-new portfolio of football products which will be released later this year. These include Rush Football GO! and World Cup versions of our ever-popular scheduled Virtuals; Rush Football 2 and Rush Football Matchday.

Rush Football GO! is the newest addition to Inspired’s suite of Rush GO! products, which combine the excitement of best-in-class Virtual Sports with casino-style betting for quick, simple wagering via casino and games tabs. Rush Football GO! gives players the ability to bet on top quality action, whenever and wherever they want. This is the first Virtual Football game to feature ‘Cash-out’ functionality, enabling players Cash-out at any stage.

In addition, players can bet on top quality action on four matches per event with a variety of markets, including ‘Match Bets’, ‘Correct Scores’ and ‘Accas’. A random Price Boost is also available on all bets, triggering the in-game Bonus Wheel which can multiply player returns up to ten times. Rush Football GO! features state of the art and incredibly lifelike graphics, placing players at the heart of the football action. To be able to offer an on-demand, in-play football game with cash out and bonus features is providing to be a really exciting concept.

To celebrate the World Cup, Inspired will be launching a World Cup themed variant of Rush Football GO! which will incorporate all the key features from the original product with 16 international teams featured in the World Cup 2018. In addition, Inspired will also be launching World Cup themed versions of our scheduled Virtuals, Rush Football 2 and Rush Football Matchday.

SBC: What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2018?

SR: Inspired is constantly looking for ways to innovate and to deliver the best-in-class and the most immersive customer experiences in the industry. This requires significant investment in consumer research to understand new trends and customer demands, coupled with investment in technology to develop our cutting-edge motion capture techniques.

Within the past year, Inspired has launched some of its most realistic Virtual Sports products to date, including Mike Tyson Virtual Boxing and The Virtual Grand National.

Our biggest product launch of 2018, 1st Down Virtual (American) Football is set to again raise the industry bar in terms of quality and player experience. It’s indisputably Inspired’s most impressive looking Virtuals product to date and features ultra-realistic player simulations which have been developed using the latest animation and motion capture techniques.

Players will be able to witness the theatre and passion of an all-American Virtual Football play out in under 90 seconds, with new events as frequently as every three minutes. The product features all new betting opportunities and live commentary on each play.

Virtual Sports are perfectly placed to embrace emerging trends such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. In the future, players will be able to step into the stadium with their favourite players – who knows, they may even be able to virtually participate in the Cup Final!

As technology advances, so does the depth and quality of our graphics and our ability to create the most life-like experiences for our customers. With the freedom we have in our Virtual Sports products, anything is possible…so watch this space!

SBC: How can your company help to improve the customer experience ahead of the World Cup?

SR: Inspired constantly pushes the boundaries of innovation. In 2017, we launched our suite of Rush GO! products which provide a fully on-demand, Virtuals experience; players can play when they want, at the speed they want, with the race selection they want. It is as close to an ‘On Demand’ TV experience as possible and well suited to the millennial consumer.

These products offer operators a unique way to cross sell sportsbook players into Games and Casino areas on their websites. By using sports themes in a familiar setting (table functionality), Rush GO! titles represent the most conducive way to move players across from sportsbooks into games areas and retain them.

Created with the typical Casino player in mind, these sports themed games have been designed as a companion to Roulette, Slots and other Electronic Table Games, crafted to appeal to those who enjoy betting on their lucky number or having a low cost, easy flutter.

The games have a casino user interface and simple betting mechanism; placing chips and deliberately avoiding use of the traditional mechanics such as bet slips. The thrilling ‘in-game bonus’ wheel multiplies winning stakes and offers the chance to achieve big wins. Players also have the convenience to watch the whole race or skip with the fast results view.

The originality of the Rush GO! suite of games; simple math, high quality graphical races, straightforward betting language for non-sportsbook players, and exciting features, create an engaging and innovative gaming experience.

Inspired will soon unveil additional Rush GO! products, including Rush Football GO! featuring ‘Cash Out’, a special ‘World Cup’ variant.

SBC: Who are you backing to win the tournament, and why?

SR: Belgium are well on their way to the top after a twelve-year absence from major tournaments. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Belgium finished in the final eight and in the 2016 Euros, they were ranked No.1 in the World and marked the most expensive squad at the finals. They are now ranked the fifth best team in the World.

Belgium will arguably bring their most talented and toughest squad ever to Russia, with an A-list team of Premier League talent. It all depends on whether the Belgian team can come together under the guidance of manager, Roberto Martinez.

With Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard in the team, I would fancy them for a semi-final spot this year and maybe even they can go all the way.

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