Pure Casino has entered the Indian market to join the repertoire of top online casinos in the country. With its rich history in quality gaming, the brand has launched its web and mobile-based iGaming platforms in India. This online casino in Indian Rupees hosts casino and live casino games including Indian Games, Western Table Games and Slots.
At this juncture, we are pleased to present an interview with Casino Manager Jordi Van De Valk from Pure Casino. Jordi shares his thoughts about the launch of Pure Casino in India, challenges faced in the Indian market, and the ever changing dynamics of the iGaming industry.
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself and your new Indian casino, Pure Casino.
Jordi Van De Valk (JvdV): My name is Jordi, and I’ve been working in iGaming since 10 years now, almost always with online casino – although I’ve been a casino fan for many more years than that, since I discovered it as a student.
Pure Casino is our new venture for the Indian market. There are many online casinos accepting players from India now, but only a few are dedicated 100% to Indian players. So this is what we are doing with Pure Casino, combining the quality you expect from a premium European online casino with a clear focus on the Indian player.
Q. What significant changes do you think have occurred in the iGaming Industry in India over the years? Did they work in favour of Pure Casino?
JvdV: A couple of years ago, there weren’t many online casinos active in India, so choice was limited. Since that time, more and more European casinos have entered India, and the quality and professionalism has improved a lot.
Also, Indian consumers are starting to understand the products more, and know what they like. I think now the times of the so-called ‘first mover advantage’ are ending. Simply being good is no longer good enough. I think, if you want to be successful, you must tailor your product to what Indian casino fans want.
Q. What do you think works the best in attracting and retaining players in the Indian market? Is it big bonuses and free spins, good customer service, easy withdrawals, quality of games or a wide range of games?
JvdV: I think it’s a combination of things. With Pure Casino, we started with the basics, like ensuring that the website loads quickly and is easy to navigate.
Then we thought about what Indian players expect. Letting players play in Rupees was a no-brainer, because most of our competitors offer this already. But then we thought what else we could do – so we localized the website into some of India’s many languages, we recruited native Indians for customer service (and other key functions), and are also onboarding more and more Indian casino games like Andar Bahar (as well as all the usual global games). We also worked closely with a number of expert consultants to optimize our site and product offering, and focus tested our concepts with genuine Indian online casino players.
Rewards can be a big draw for many players, but for others new to online casino they can be quite a new concept. With Pure Casino, we’ve tried to keep things flexible and transparent. Players can claim our welcome bonus on their first deposit, offering 100% up to INR 10,000. We then offer our reload bonus each Friday, offering 50% up to INR 15,000 on one deposit. We also have a wagering requirement model that is easy to understand, and fair.
We feel this is the best way forward. Because it’s a bonus, players can enjoy extra play time on the games they love. And they also have a realistic chance unlocking and withdrawing their bonuses and bonus winnings.
Q. Pure Casino is available in five languages in India. How much contribution does localisation have in the success of the platform in India?
JvdV: For sure it is important, and comprehensive localisation was something we wanted to do from the start. We saw that many of our competitors only have the English version of their websites in India. And although it is true that India has a massive English-speaking population, there are many Indian players out there who, for instance, prefer Hindi.
Already at an early stage, we decided that we didn’t want to force a player to play in just English if they preferred another language. Of course, we have Indian-English available for those who prefer playing in English. But we also have Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Bengali, with customer service available in English and Hindi.
We aim to add further languages in the future too. We feel this is an important part of making Indian players welcome at Pure Casino.
Q. Pure Casino accepts digital cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Some people find this mode of payment too volatile. Do you think cryptocurrencies and online casinos are a good combination, and if so, why?
JvdV: There a couple of key advantages to accepting crypto payments. For one thing, it gives you a layer of anonymity. Many players want to enjoy their hobby in peace and quiet, so do they want their bank manager seeing that they play at Pure Casino? Probably not. Here is where crypto can help.
Also, if you find your preferred payment method has been blocked, it’s a very effective alternative payment model.
For me, crypto’s volatility only comes into play when converting to and from FIAT currencies, and it depends also a little on the vertical. For online casino, in my view this is less of an issue – when I play, I deposit what I want to play with, enjoy the games I want to play, and if I win, I withdraw at the end of my session. Usually this happens in a single evening or perhaps over maximum a couple of days. The crypto exchange rate of course can change during that time, but not enough that my winnings are harmed in a big way.
But of course, we also offer other payment methods! We accept credit and debit cards, we have net banking, fast bank transfer and we have eWallets too, and are expanding our portfolio of payment solutions all the time. We have made great efforts to ensure our payment solutions have high acceptance rates, so players can deposit and withdraw quickly and simply.
Q. What are your main challenges in India, as an offshore operator?
JvdV: I think the biggest challenge is getting the local insight. To deliver a casino experience that is a hit with Indian players, we had to go to great lengths to find the right consultants and partners who understand both India and iGaming. But we have been very lucky to have connected with many great people and companies in this space.
But also, it is how you use the creative freedom that comes with this amazing market. Some operators have been very successful in India so far, but the market itself is still emerging, with new players coming in all the time. So you have to try and strike a balance between using things that others have been successful with, and trying to innovate yourself.
Then you have payment methods and games, and ensuring you have a good selection of both is especially important now that competition is increasing.
Q. What in the iGaming industry caught your attention in the year 2019? How will the iGaming trends and events of this year affect the market in the future?
JvdV: Operators are taking the Indian market more and more seriously, and are making the effort to understand Indian players more. Indian players also are understanding more and more about online casinos. A lot of the historical distrust is melting away, and many players now have a good understanding of how to play online, how bonuses work, and how they can enjoy their hobby more and more. The more this continues, the better the products will become for Indian players.
Q. If you could change one thing about the iGaming industry, what would it be and why?
JvdV: I would encourage more European casino game companies to make games for the Indian market. It is already a booming market, and I think there’s scope for live and RNG companies to innovate and create some good games for Indian players.
Q. Pure Casino offers several Indian games. Which are your favorite Indian games on Pure Casino?
JvdV: I have always enjoyed Andar Bahar. We have already an RNG version, and should have live and some additional RNG variants of it soon. We should have Teen Patti Solo also soon. I would like to have Jhandi Munda, and are looking at solutions to bringing that to Pure. If you are from a games company reading this and you have this in your portfolio, please reach out to us!