JNS Gaming made a splash in March by unveiling a new metaverse-inspired crypto casino brand called LynxBet.
The operator, led by CEO Jeremy Taylor, made a mission statement at that time to target high-growth unregulated and regulating territories in both North and South America.
While the branded artwork, including a cartoon Lynx mascot, was reminiscent of avatars in online worlds like Decentraland, it was not immediately apparent how the operation was going to lean into the potential for online gambling in the metaverse.
Speaking on episode 14 of Square in the Air’s (SITA) popular iGaming FM podcast, former Genting MD Taylor admitted the brand was still in phase one as he explained the concept.
“There are a lot of exciting things to come but as a phase one, all we wanted to do was stand out,” Taylor told SITA account manager Ian Donegan.
“There are lots of other brands out there that are white-label orientated, all with the same templates and just coloured in with different brand names.
“We intentionally wanted to stand out and we chose the position of the metaverse for that reason,” he added.
LynxBet CEO Jeremy Taylor: “iGaming, crypto and the metaverse are all starting to come together, so that is the rationale as to why we embarked on that path.”
Another reason for the eye-catching metaverse-inspired design was due to the background and identity of the investors behind the brand.
The undisclosed backers also built FreeBitco.in, one of the largest crypto-gaming websites in the world and have released their own gambling-focused cryptocurrency via the FUN token.
Taylor told SITA that track record amounts to a database of around 48 million customers.
He said: “There was low-hanging fruit there in terms of cross-sell. We wanted to find the sweet spot of attracting that existing audience and tapping into the trend of crypto and the metaverse in general for any other iGaming customers out there.
“iGaming, crypto and the metaverse are all starting to come together, so that is the rationale as to why we embarked on that path,” he added.
Decentral Games is arguably leading the way when it comes to metaverse-based gambling. In Decentraland, tech-savvy users can play poker, trade NFTs or complete gaming challenges in a virtual reality crypto casino filled with customised avatars.
LynxBet’s current link to the metaverse is more subtle. The multiverse benefits are less tangible and more perception-led in order to stand out from the crowd.
When asked to expand on the influence of the metaverse on the product, Taylor said: “It is just an exciting space, whether that comes from trade press noise or from consumers adopting various different cryptocurrencies.
“There was an opportunity to differentiate and find that sweet spot and we thought the metaverse options that are out there, and the creativity they offer, was a great vehicle to tap into to make us stand out.
“[The metaverse] is very colourful, very fantastical, imaginative, creative and flexible. It is also evolving over time, and no one owns the whole thing. You can create your own environments and scenes and create your own mini metaverse, which is what we’ve started to do with LynxBet.
“We are at phase one and it may not seem to some that we are hugely differentiated, but from where we want to eventually be, it is a stepping stone on that path,” he added.
LynxBet CEO Jeremy Taylor: “We are at phase one and it may not seem to some that we are hugely differentiated, but from where we want to eventually be, it is a stepping stone on that path.”
Taylor believes growing adoption of the metaverse will provide a mountain of opportunities for gambling businesses right across the spectrum.
He suggests legendary land-based operators hold a powerful position as users will want to recreate that environment in a digital capacity. The giants of the Las Vegas strip could charge a fortune for licensing out the IP rights to their unmistakable land-based properties.
We have seen some metaverse-inspired innovation in the real-money gambling industry over recent weeks and months. The latest example of this will see NetGaming, which is now part of the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, launch a new NFT slot on 31 May.
But Taylor is adamant that more creativity will be required from all cogs in the iGaming ecosystem to deliver the kind of futuristic gaming experiences that consumers crave.
“For online-only operators like us it will be more about wrapping around the existing content that is out there because we need the content suppliers and the game suppliers to really evolve the game play experience ultimately,” he told iGaming FM.
“The algorithms will probably stay fairly similar, but the immersive experience of playing live casino or slots does need to change.
“Otherwise, all the metaverse becomes is another gateway to play the same game in the same way that they have always played,” he added.