KamaGames partners with Hard Rock for social casino games

KamaGames has launched an international alliance with Hard Rock to make social casino games, starting with the Hard Rock Blackjack mobile game.

Dublin, Ireland-based KamaGames, the largest European social casino operator, said it has launched a brand new app in partnership with Hard Rock International, which owns the brand that is known for its casinos and restaurants.

The new app, titled Hard Rock Blackjack, contains the most popular casino-style games in the KamaGames portfolio. The game has 3D versions of classic casino table games including roulette, craps, baccarat and of course, blackjack. In addition, this all-new app will include a number of other casino-style games such as slots and video poker, familiar to even the most casual of players.

The timing is good because Las Vegas and other casino destinations around the world are shut down.

“Speaking for us, we definitely see some increase in the countries which have a quarantine,” said KamaGames CEO, Andrey Kuznetsov, in an interview with GamesBeat. “Where people are working remotely, we see an increase in almost all key performance indicators (KPIs). We see growth, for example, in Spain and Italy, and changes in most European countries.”

Above: You can play a variety of games in the Hard Rock Blackjack app.

“You’ve heard about Las Vegas shutting. And I’m sure casinos in some other jurisdictions will also close their doors or just have limited the events and activity. So it’s a very proper time for casinos to do this and offer something more online for the loyal audience,” Kuznetsov said.

Kresimir Spajic, senior vice president of online gaming and sports betting at Hard Rock International, said in an interview that his division focuses on free-to-play games, real-money gambling, and media.

“We talked two or three years ago for the first time, and we always found KamaGames as an interesting proposition and a very promising company,” he said. “They had great success in a very competitive category by focusing on table games. We are very selective when it comes to partners. I feel KamaGames is a good fit.”

Hard Rock Blackjack also includes a fully comprehensive and market-leading social poker game based on the Pokerist Texas Poker model, currently the third-largest social poker game in the world. In KamaGames’ social casino games, you can spend real money on virtual currency, but you can’t cash out your winnings. So it’s not classified as gambling.

Above: Hard Rock Blackjack app

In addition to the much loved Texas Hold’em Poker, a number of other poker-based titles have also been added to the app including fan-favorites Set Poker and Split Bet Poker.

Hard Rock Blackjack will also play host to a range of competitive poker tournaments including Sit’n’Go, Shootout, multi-table tournaments
(MTT) and weekly tournaments all of which have experienced long-standing success among KamaGames’ existing user base, a success that both KamaGames and Hard Rock International anticipate to be replicated among the millions of Hard Rock International customers.

“This is a mutually beneficial partnership because we are here to offer one of the best games available currently in the world,” Kuznetsov said. “The Hard Rock is a unique company with its broad, loyal, and massive audience across different locations across the world. No matter where I’m going, either to the city center of Dublin or Netherlands or China or even Russia, I see people in Hard Rock T-shirts, or Hard Rock caps. We feel very excited to be a part of it.”

Above: You can play roulette in the Hard Rock Blackjack app.

Alongside tournaments, the app offers unique Party modes and poker game variations to excite players of every skill level as well as providing a host of different ways to encourage a feeling of community. Social interaction between players will be made possible via a range of creative chat options such as in-game instant messenger, animated emojis and the ability to send gifts back and forth throughout the many highs and lows of a game.

The Hard Rock International started with free to play products three years ago, looking to find engagement for the customer base when they are outside our properties,” Spajic said. “We have around 120 million customers a year, and they visit our properties only so many times a year. We can extend our touchpoints with them on free-to-play games.”

The Hard Rock started with match-3 and bubble shooter games, and they were encouraged by the results. Now the company is doing deeper partnerships. The Hard Rock has 12 casinos in the U.S., and it was on schedule to open three more this year.

“People look for engagement with our brand after they leave our properties,” Spajic said. “We see high engagement from our brick-and-mortar audience with free-to-play, once they understand the drivers of the free-to-play product.”

Above: The Hard Rock Blackjack app also has a poker game.

Florida-based Hard Rock International has 262 locations in 76 countries that include owned or licensed Hard Rock Hotels, casinos, Rock Shops, and cafes. It has a brand awareness around the world of 80%, and 90% in the U.S., Spajic said.

“From a crisis perspective, we employ 48,000 people around the world, and it has been really, really nuts in the last couple of weeks,” Spajic said. “We are in daily conversations with governors’ offices and agencies around the world, and we are trying to navigate the situation the best way possible. We are seeing a spike in results on free-to-play platforms and real-money online gaming. We think that is positive, but at the same time, most of the activities we do are based on disposable income. And in the U.S., almost 60% of the work force is hourly workers. Digital has an advantage, but if this continues, even with lots of people looking for entertainment and something to do online, I think that everybody’s business will suffer if people are out of work.”

Meanwhile, KamaGames’ Pokerist has been translated into 28 languages and it has been the No. 1 grossing app in 101 countries on the app store and one of the top five grossing apps in 45 countries on Google Play. KamaGames, started in 2010, has 250 staff.

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