Gil Rotem comes from a technical background. Recently named IGT’s president of iGaming, Rotem is responsible for ensuring the ongoing development and global expansion of the IGT PlayDigital business, which includes igaming, poker, and bingo.
In more than 21 years in the gaming industry, he’s relied on data and statistics. But Rotem’s mission at IGT transcends technology.
“What I love about the industry today is that we create joy to play,” Rotem said this week at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. “And what I like is that by using the data, the math, the graphics, you can create an experience for players that is creating joy and value.”
Rotem grew up in Israel, where he played competitive soccer. The mentality of sports, of trying to be the best, is ingrained in his demeanor. Rotem said he told IGT CEO Enrico Drago that one reason he joined the company was the challenge of building the best B2B brand in the United States. Specifically, Rotem plans to replicate the experience of land-based casino games as much as possible in IGT’s online games. “The quality of the game has to be the best,” Rotem says. “Also, now we’re using a whole lot of tools and user-engagement things to allow the user to stay longer on the game. … It’s a better user experience, so (players) can enjoy playing more.”
Rotem acknowledges the inherent competition in the gaming industry and what’s at stake as igaming becomes legal in more jurisdictions. And as he embraces the competitive aspect of his job, Rotem admits he feels like there’s a target on his back.
“It’s a cliché, but it’s true,” Rotem says. “But as long as the target is on my back, that means I’m ahead of them. For me, it’s looking at the data, it’s understanding what the users want, what to do with each unit, so we’re not talking about segmentation, but personalization.”
One of the ways to do that is to increase the number of games available to clients. Rotem says that IGT has been on schedule to release about 30 games per year. But he plans to increase the number of new offerings to between 50 and 60. “With more firepower, we can address more players, more operators, more markets,” Rotem says. “This is what I think is going to help us increase our advantage.”
At G2E, IGT provided looks at new and revamped products, including an expanded content portfolio featuring a selection of proprietary and third-party games for players in more than 22 regulated markets.
- Majestic Megaways, featuring cascading wins and increasing multipliers
- Cash Eruption Fa Cai Shu, a sequel to the online game
- Gus’s Gold: Hold & Win
- Wheel of Fortune Slots Triple Gold Spin, the first omnichannel WAP game for the U.S.
- Wheel of Fortune Jackpot Zone
- Remote-game-server technology
- Enhanced player engagement and promotional tools
IGT is live in more than 25 jurisdictions including Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.