Matevž Mazij for Gambling Insider: US expansion, LatAm and 60 new games coming soon

September 18, 2023

Interview with Gambling Insider: Matevž Mazij, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board at Bragg Gaming Group, talks about his recent appointment to CEO, Bragg Gaming acquiring his Oryx Gaming technology and the company’s plans for 2024, including aims of growth in the US.

Why did Yaniv Sherman, Bragg’s previous CEO, step down? How are you looking to have a smooth transition during the takeover considering you started immediately?

To start, we want to thank Yaniv for his extensive contributions to Bragg over the past year. We generated record revenue growth and made solid progress towards our Gross Profit and Adjusted EBITDA margin goals. However, we believe we can go further in bringing more value to our shareholders. I am very well placed to drive this agenda since I am Bragg’s largest shareholder, as well as Chair of the Board of Directors, and now CEO.

As a board member and more recently Chair of the Board, I was already very closely connected with Yaniv and up to speed on the Bragg business. I also have the full history of the company having founded Oryx Gaming – now an essential part of Bragg Gaming Group – over a decade ago, and I have been involved with the business, either in executive or Board positions ever since. 

It means I don’t need to be onboarded into the business, I already know the executive team and many of our employees and customers personally. I can hit the ground running, and all of this certainly helps to make the transition a smooth one.

What are your plans for Bragg as its new CEO?

To continue to deliver on our strategy with further acceleration of our growth in the US and Canadian market while we also enter emerging markets such as Brazil. We aim to be a must-have supplier for our exclusive casino content in North America and other key regulated markets. 

We are doing this through our proprietary Bragg Studios – these include Wild Streak Gaming, Atomic Slot Lab, Indigo Magic and Spin Games – and through our Powered by Bragg partners which include studios such as Gamomat, King Show Games, Sega Sammy Creation, Bluberi and Incredible Technologies. While we are already one of the largest aggregators in the market, we also see significant room for growth in our aggregation business as we continue to aggressively expand this side of our offering. 

We will also continue to develop our Fuze™ player engagement toolset, which we believe is going to be a game changer for the US operators’ player monetisation efforts, as well as our player account management (PAM) and turnkey products and services. We will deliver all of this and furthermore, as CEO, I will strive to accelerate the synergies that we expect from our acquisitions of the Wild Streak Gaming and Spin Games businesses and I will examine and re-examine all potential opportunities for growth for Bragg to drive added value for our shareholders. 

Can we expect any more future changes to the Board?

We have a strong Board that is well positioned and highly experienced. There are no further changes currently anticipated.

Bragg acquired your Oryx Gaming business in 2018, tell me a bit more about that; how has it evolved since then?

Bragg acquired Oryx Gaming with a view to leverage the exceptional iGaming technology, such as the PAM, aggregation and content delivery platforms, to grow the business from one that was delivering success at a regional level into one that would be a global force in iGaming. Since the acquisition, we have expanded internationally, with licences or appropriate certification in some of the largest iGaming markets in the world including in the US, Canada, UK, Italy and Sweden. Our largest market today is the Netherlands where we are the leading PAM provider. 

In addition to this market expansion, our product mix has evolved a great deal since 2018. Bragg’s acquisition of Wild Streak Gaming in 2021 immediately added a successful proprietary slots studio to our portfolio, with well-known titles such as Dragon Power, but also brought us expert in-house content development capabilities. Leveraging this expertise, since then, we have launched two new proprietary studios, Atomic Slot Lab and Indigo Magic. Together with Spin Games, which we acquired last year, and our proprietary Oryx Gaming portfolio, we call these our Bragg Studios brands, and they are seeing great traction in the market. 

We have also significantly expanded our third-party partnerships in the past couple of years with content creators such as Bluberi, Sega Sammy Creation, King Show Games, Incredible Technologies and Galaxy Gaming, thereby enriching our ‘Powered by Bragg’ programme through our ability to offer operators exclusive, in-demand content suitable for multiple localised markets internationally.

Are there any new markets that you plan to enter?

We are already in most of the largest regulated markets in the world but we are very excited about evolving markets in LatAm such as Mexico and Brazil.

What goals do you aim to complete during the remainder of 2023?

Personally, I plan to get around to meet and reconnect with as many of our partners, stakeholders and employees in our different offices as soon as possible. So I’ll be on the road and on the way, I’ll be attending G2E Las Vegas, where you can find Bragg at booth #3637.

From the product perspective, we’re on track to release over 60 new exclusive games this year from our Bragg Studios and Powered by Bragg partners; and a highlight in the coming months will be our first release from Sega Sammy Creation.

What is the biggest region that Bragg targets? Is the hiring of a European like yourself, a motive in regards to European expansion?

The biggest region we are targeting is the United States. Our biggest market today by revenue is Europe, but our major focus is on the US which is the largest market in the world and is somewhere where we continue to grow. During my time on the Board, I have been instrumental in supporting the acquisitions and integrations of Wild Streak Gaming and Spin Games, two Nevada-based companies which are key to our US strategy and the roll-out that is now happening.

I am based in Europe, where approximately 80 percent of our 450 employees are located, meaning I am on hand to keep our teams focused on the delivery of our goals. I’ll also be a frequent visitor to our US hub in Las Vegas where we plan to continue to grow our teams to support our business development and deployment initiatives.

We’re also proud to be growing our business in Europe and other regions. Our growth to become the leading PAM and turnkey provider in the Netherlands is testament to our ability to rapidly adapt our technology to meet complex new regulatory requirements, and we are actively expanding our presence in major European markets such as the UK, Italy, Sweden and many more.

Lastly, what are Bragg’s goals for 2024?

In 2024 we aim to deliver value to our shareholders as we continue to grow our business. We’re looking forward to making waves as our clients’ iCasino content provider of choice, as the extensive product roadmaps we are developing now roll out in both North America and in Europe. 

We aim to fortify our strong positions in markets such as the Netherlands and Switzerland and to continue to grow our market shares in other major iGaming jurisdictions including those in the US and Canada, plus the big European markets such as the UK, Italy and Sweden.

And of course, we’ll be on the road speaking with our customers, potential customers and investors, making sure everyone knows about Bragg’s growing content portfolio, ever-evolving PAM, aggregation and engagement technology solutions and rapidly expanding geographical reach.

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