Ice 2023 in London gave me hope for UK Slots

Some positives I took from ICE London 2023.

The UK market is far from dead, even in the face of OTT regulations. Every slot provider I spoke to had UK well-figured in their future development plans.

A good example of this is Evolution, who now include top slot names like BTG, NoLimit City, Netent, Red Tiger, etc. I was very impressed with their physical Crazy Time Wheel which is a new development for land-based casinos. Going into London very soon.

Obviously I have a slight bias for Crazy Time after my 1st attempt at it on a stream lately, if you’ll excuse my blatant plug 🙂

Evolution slot guys were top notch too. Very eager to hear our (myself & Azzi Gambling‘s) experiences of their slots as streamers & equally enthusiastic about their own future plans. Evolution aren’t looking at a dying market but creating their own opportunities instead.

The addition of Bonus Buys to Red Tiger titles is a bold move (obviously unavailable in the UK), and I think it will see their titles played a lot more by streamers and casual players alike. Red Tigers are volatile & they don’t save for Bonus Hunts, so this will make their bonuses much more available to streaming in particular. Super slots, this is great news. They’ll get the playtime they’ve always deserved.

4thePlayer took time to show us some of their new slots, coming soon in 2023, and these look great. It was really good to hear how they develop a concept through to an actual slot game, and the sheer amount of time they spend testing & perfecting the playability from the perspective of a player for overall experience.

4thePlayer are advancing features with every slot they release & their new titles won’t disappoint. They consider every market their slots are in currently & future, adding this as a major variable for consideration in any development. UK figures heavily in that. Even with their placement on casino platforms, it’s well considered to ensure wide availability.

4thePlayer is a slot developer to watch, they’re making some great titles. I’m looking forward to the upcoming 2023 sequel to their smash 4 Fantastic Fish title of 2022. I had a sneak preview & it’s feature-rich.

Push Gaming took time to give us a great insight into their plans for the future. They’ve some super titles coming, including a Razor Shark sequel that I’m impatient to see released now I’ve had a preview. There’s a Giga Jar/Jammin spin-off coming soon too which sounds very exciting.

Matt (Push Gaming) is very progressive & showed me they’ve put a lot of thought into these new titles & the future in general. It was hard to walk away from the Push Gaming stand without feeling some enthusiasm & a little eager to see these new titles released. I saw 2023 slots that we’ll be playing well into the future.

Relax Gaming was a real moment. When myself & Azzi arrived at the stand we were greeted by none other than the legend Kim from LetsGiveItaSpin & his delightful wife Maja. I can confirm they smile as much in person as they do on Twitter. We’d a great conversation about Relax Gaming & streaming in general, very positive.

Relax was a hectic stand as you can imagine, extremely popular. They’ll be smashing 2023 like they smashed 2022 in my humble opinion. Again UK features very heavily in that. Their slots have always been such that UK players don’t feel a bonus is outside their reach or designed only for bonus buys. UK gets the full experience of a Relax Gaming slot & it doesn’t appear that will change.

Seems a perfect time to harp on about my favourite bonus on Beast Mode (October 2022) I suppose. I simply have no shame 🙂

At Pragmatic we got a spin on the new “Barry“, coming soon. It’s got some lovely features added & I think it’ll complement Big Bass Splash as one I’ll certainly favour on stream. Pragmatic Play had a lot on display, so much to see. A massive slot developer they’ve a constant list of new titles. We played a few of their upcoming releases & 2023 looks like it’s going to be a fun year to stream!

Final Musings

Someone told me on Wednesday there were 35,000 people at Ice 2023 and I certainly wouldn’t doubt it from what I experienced. I left feeling very positive and particularly pleased the UK wasn’t going to be forced from the plans of these big name slot providers/developers by the detrimental economic side-effects of regulations.

UK regulations are designed to protect UK players, which is a good thing. As a side effect they make UK slot streaming impossible to do on any scale, forcing some of us to Ireland or wherever to continue making content. We cannot complain. We streamers are the anomaly in this situation, given our extended ‘use’ & need to do what we can to work within regulated areas. ‘Unregulated’ brings a whole new set of problems to our followers/subscribers, so it cannot be an option.

We streamers get some minor costs from hefty regulatory influences. It cannot compare to the crippling effect it must have on Slot Providers and Casinos as UK players get more and more restricted and manpower costs skyrocket to meet regulatory compliance demands.

I left Ice 2023 feeling positive for UK online slots and casinos though. Slot developers have responded to restrictions which limit playtime on their slots and it’s led to some really playable titles coming out. UK players will have to settle for more enjoyment for their cash as game-makers create slots they’ll want to play again.

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