Lightning Box’s Michael Maokhamphiou speaks with Compare.bet about their exciting US expansion

As the first part of a mini Q&A series with leading software developer Lightning Box, we spoke with Operations Manager Michael Maokhamphiou about their expansion into the US market, their latest release Murphy’s Pots and other exciting opportunities in 2022. 

How have you found the process of US expansion – has it been challenging catering to a new market?

Our key goals and strategies revolve around creating games with a player first mentality. Our focus on engaging features and entertainment means that our games have universal appeal.  That is something we’re very proud to let guide us in all our endeavours. Because of this, and regardless of what region we target, players are drawn to our USP and extensive portfolio of high-quality releases.

You’ve recently launched in Connecticut – which other states are you currently active in and how exciting is the emerging US market? 

The emerging US market is currently one of the most exciting new regions in the iGaming ecosystem. Our globally renowned games are available online in New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and newly introduced Connecticut. Our ever-popular classic titles like Chicken Fox have found a new audience within these states with latest releases like Murphy’s Pots quickly gaining a prominent fan base. It has been an exciting time as we reaffirm our position as a leading multi-channel supplier within these new markets.

When it comes to the process of playing and mechanics of the game, do you have to factor in regulatory changes on a state-by-state basis across the US e.g. the same slot having different stake limits and bonus mechanics active across different states in the US?

Different states do require certain regulatory changes that is reflected in our games. However, this has long been the case in Europe and the rest of the world. We proudly abide by all legislation and regulation unique to each region. Lightning Box has been creating hit titles for nearly two decades globally and with this in mind each title allows us to adjust parts of its platform or stake size for any regulatory needs without effecting the core gameplay.

Have you noticed any significant differences in consumer preferences/behavioural choices when developing games in the US compared to more traditional consumer bases like the UK?

I believe that especially within our industry the focus of any consumer regardless of their geographical position is entertainment. However, some key differences we have found in both our land-based releases and online is that the US market is more heavily influenced by the marketing of our releases. Specifically, the thumbnail of a game prior to choosing to play one of our titles. We may promote a slot “mascot” in a US market with for example the Gorilla from Lightning Gorilla being the focal point. Whereas we may focus on the title and branding when positioning the same game in the UK.

Are there any other markets outside of the US & UK you’re particularly excited about?

All those who work in the iGaming world are currently excited about the Latin American market. Countries like Brazil are beginning to lower the regulations around gambling introducing their citizens to a licensed and regulated gambling sector. They have an aim to block all unlicensed foreign casinos which will aid in protecting people from untrustworthy casinos. This creates an exciting opportunity to extend our reach into this new market as the process is being mirrored across the continent.

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Marcus is a Deputy Editor at Compare.bet US and contributes to content across the site. He holds a BA (Hons) in English and American Literatures, and has been featured in The Times, Business Chief, and music site Audioxide among others.

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Michael Maokhamphiou
Michael is Operations Manager at software provider Lightning Box and has shared his expertise with us on several occasions. He has over a decade of experience in the gambling industry and has been with Lightning Box for over 3 years, previously working for NextGen Gaming and Konami.