As some of you may know if you check me out, I’ve been in the iGaming industry for about 10 years. Recently I spoke in Berlin at EIG where I talked about the business case for a Bitcoin casino.
Since I launched Oshi, they figured I had something to talk about.
This is me being interviewed at EIG
The presentation is here:Read more
I just thought I would give you some updates on what’s happening at Oshi.
Yes, it’s one of those…not very interesting, but really critical issues if you have a problem…things.
A while ago there were some concerns about levels of support with our customers.
I’m happy to say that we’ve got eight new customer services people on the team and they’ve been working away over the last month, getting more and more knowledgeable.
What’s the upshot for you?
For the day-to-day processing of issues, it means things get done faster i.e. cashouts above a certain amount.
For difficult queries it obviously it means we have more time to dig into them and come up proper solutions.
I’m really relieved that this whole area is being improved. It’s such a critical thing.
There are two parts to this, the categorisation and user experience.
One of our big ideas around game search is to think about ‘interestingness’ i.e. what things would interest you about a game? Maybe you like games with lots of blue in them, or perhaps you like Egyptian games? These things potentially are interesting to you. So by building a game search structure around stuff you’re interested in, we hope to make Oshi the best casino experience there is.
A way of thinking about the importance of categorisation…
If you think of buying a car. Cars have attributes, for instance one car might have a 2 L engine, another might have five doors, a sunroof, be an estate car and so on. By knowing what you want you can find a car that matches your criteria based on its features (attributes) and that’s what were doing with casino games.
Every game has potentially 100’s of attributes i.e. things that make it different from the next casino game. This might be the theme of the game, for instance it might be about kings and diamonds or may be it’s about goblins and fairies. Perhaps there’s a particular soundtrack to the game? May be it’s very up-tempo, or down tempo. All of these factors affect your experience with that game. That’s why there are certain games you like more than others, because those games will resonate with you in a particular way.
By categorising as many of the features, visual and auditory aspects of a casino game as possible we can begin to make it easier for you to find new games that you might want to play.
So at the moment we have a team of people categorising another batch of 400 games. Were also re-reviewing all the older games just to make sure they’ve been categorised correctly.
It’s a pretty big project as you can guess, but, it’s really important because the accuracy of our categorisation obviously determines the quality of the results you get in the end.
We hope to get this completed by first week of September.
Technology and game search
Our other big project is around improving game search functionality.
We have a filtering system on the left-hand side of the game search pages, but they aren’t very intuitive. So one of the team suggested we look at ASOS.com (a clothing website) to see how they manage filtering. In short, were going to do something along these lines. I can’t be too specific because the developers are just working away at it and I’m not sure exactly what constraints they’ll have. All know is that it is critical to making the site better for finding new games.
Were also improving tag search. As you may know tags are these things (see below) :
Were increasing the number of tags you can see and were getting more selective about which tags are exposed.
Going back to the idea of ‘interestingness’, knowing that a game has a help feature is not really that interesting because every game has ‘help’.
So it’s more about tagging things like themes i.e. ‘kings’, ‘boats’ and so on. If you’re interested in boats then I guess being able to see all the games which have been tagged with boats in them is a good thing for you.
Right now, you type in a word and we will show you games that either come up with that word in it or are tagged with that word, for instance ‘Pyramid’.
But right now we don’t prioritise results. In other words the top result should be the most relevant and the bottom one, least relevant.
Prioritisation is a massively complex issue, because we have to work out what we should prioritise on. So were working on that one. Suffice to say, it’s an important thing to get sorted out.
Fortunately some of the technology team know a lot about search so I’m fairly confident were going to nail this.
Better looking banners
Finally, we’ve sorted out the graphic designer who is now churning out new banners constantly. It’s one of those small things which makes the site a little more fun.
Have you noticed, every banner has Oshi guy in it somewhere…
I don’t know if you realised, but most casinos are identical and our mission is to be different in a better way, to improve the main reason you turn up at a casino: to play games you love.
Everything we do is around making it easier to find and play those games.
I thought I would give you some background our decision to cut back on the reload bonuses we have been offering.
Put simply, after we have paid out on customer winnings (and there have been a lot of them recently, so genuinely…well done) , along with game providers fees and other overheads, were simply not making sustainable profits.
Just to give you some idea of the numbers…
- A customer might bet €100.
- Based on the return to player probabilities, they are likely on average to get around 96.5% return of cash.
- That leaves us on average with €3.5
- We then have to account for bonuses and they are typically running at around €3.4
- And we then have game provider fees (paying the companies who provide the games you play) which would typically amount to €1.3 for every hundred euros transacted.
Our plan is to lower the reload bonuses, but still issue a large number of them and double our efforts around site experience and customer services. With all of this done, we are looking to make around 0.75% gross profit (profit before overheads etc)
In the end, our mission is to have a great website that customers love. And to do that we have to make a profit…otherwise no Oshi.
Anyhow, I hope that makes sense and I hope you have learnt something about the tough economics of running a casino.
The dev team at Oshi have been very busy putting together the latest front-end code.
There were a few issues with the current site look and feel around speed and general clunkyness on mobile. So here are some of the stats:
– The app CSS size went from 218kb to 19kb.
– CSS download time from 1.05s to 180ms on my machine.
– CSS download time from 4.15s to 625ms on a good 3G connection (simulated).
– Parsing/rendering from 668ms to 388ms on my machine (phones would suffer more).
Were planning on launching this over the next week.
And here are some pretty pictures to show you before and after: