US Gamblers Prefer Familiarity, Want Omnichannel Retail/Online Slots, Says Light & Wonder

Photo by LoopAll/Shutterstock

Light and Wonder (LNW) told Bonus about its most popular online casino games and, surprisingly, revealed that US online gamblers prefer the versatility and familiarity of omnichannel and cross-channel play. In other words, Americans like to bet on games they can play on mobile devices, then desktops, and, ultimately, at land-based casinos. This is in contrast to their European counterparts, who are more comfortable with unique online slot mechanics.

Rob Procter, LNW game development vice president, told Bonus in the interview:

Traditional US players have distinct preferences and play styles compared to European and UK players. One significant difference we have seen across our in-house content is US players’ affinity for cross-channel and omni products.

In his July 9 responses to Bonus questions, the leader at the Las Vegas-based gambling products and services provider elaborated on information about the most popular games by LNW (Light & Wonder Inc 105,14 -1,66%).

In Q1 2024, LNW’s best-performing iGaming titles around the world were the following:

  • World of Wonka
  • Pirots 2
  • Cygnus 4
  • Thundering Series

LNW’s Procter Provides US iGaming Context

Procter had a far more nuanced response about which online casino games were the most popular among US iGaming enthusiasts.

On July 9, Procter answered five questions from Bonus.

The queries stemmed from LNW’s Q1 2024 statements about its globally popular iGaming titles.

His answers ranged from a discussion of LNW’s games created in-house, which he clarified are intellectual property (IP).

Procter also notes that the worldwide favorite casino games, Willy Wonka slots, are exclusively provided to US online casino players via FanDuel Casino.

The online gambling operator retains exclusive rights to Willy Wonka slots.

In March, the first game launched — Willy Wonka: World of Wonka.

The questions from Bonus are in bold.

Procter’s answers are below, verbatim.

What do World of Wonka, Pirots 2, Cygnus 4, and Thundering Series have in common that made them successful?

Rather than focusing on what these games have in common, their success stems from their differences and the unique space each fills in the market. Light & Wonder has historically been very good at adapting IP and staying true to the original brand, which is exemplified by the digital adaptation of land-based favorite Willy Wonka: World of Wonka. Pirots 2, produced for Light & Wonder by ELK Studios, blends modern animations, a storyline, and new mechanics to provide a refreshing change to classic casino games. Building on a strong IP and a beloved game series, Cygnus 4 is another ELK title that introduces new elements while retaining familiar aspects, creating a slot experience that resonates with players. In contrast, our Thundering series capitalizes on established familiarity from within land-based environments and customer trust. Integrating our Local Area Progressive jackpot features into two titles within the series, Thundering Shenlong and Thundering Gorilla, has proven highly successful.

Are players’ tastes changing at all? Did any new mechanics or themes really take off this year?

Absolutely. Player preferences are constantly evolving, mirroring broader trends in the digital entertainment sector, where even popular mechanics can shift quickly. Take Megaways, for example, which has adapted over time to align with current player trends.

From the beginning, we knew ELK’s CollectR mechanic would have real staying power, and its modern yet straightforward approach has made it a standout feature among players this year.

At Light & Wonder, we strive to cater to these dynamic tastes by offering a diverse range of content. Our portfolio includes traditional slots, instant win games, innovative table games, and classic steppers. We continuously introduce new mechanics, such as those in our Thundering series, along with various jackpots and core jackpot products. As player preferences in the US are rapidly evolving, we’ve expanded our content offering across numerous genres to effectively meet these growing and diverse demands.

Are any or all of those four games available in the US market now? If not, are they coming soon?

World of Wonka is exclusively available through FanDuel, and the Thundering series is widely available across the US, including in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, with more games coming soon. Our second Local Area Progressive jackpot series from Lightning Box, called Egg Link, will also be launching soon, which we’re particularly excited about. While the Pirots series is widely available in the UK, European markets, and beyond, it is not yet live in the core US markets. But [it] is in the pipeline as we continue to expand our suite of content. Similarly, Cygnus 4 is not yet live in the US, but will be as we continue our rollout.

What were LNW’s top games in the US last quarter?

Several games stood out for us last quarter. World of Wonka performed exceptionally well and has continued to thrive with its FanDuel exclusivity. The team at FanDuel has done a fantastic job promoting this game, and we plan to roll out more Willy Wonka-themed games with them. Another major success was Ultimate Fire Link Cash Falls, particularly the China Street and Olvera Street versions, which have been standout performers. These games have charted impressively in industry reports and are prominently featured on customer websites. The success of these games highlights the strength of our omni-channel approach, which remains a significant differentiator in the market. Harnessing beloved IP and mechanics and combining our major brands, such as Ultimate Fire Link and Cash Falls, into a single game has resonated well with both online and land-based players.

What differences are there between US customer preferences and the international audience?

Traditional US players have distinct preferences and play styles compared to European and UK players. One significant difference we have seen across our in-house content is US players’ affinity for cross-channel and omni products. The US is our home ground, and we excel at delivering these experiences and have delivered over 20 of these games to the market this year.

Familiarity is also paramount for US players. They recognize and resonate with our internal IPs like Cash Falls, Ultimate Fire Link, and Rich Little Piggies. These games are easy for them to pick up and play because they understand the mechanics and know what to expect. This familiarity fosters a sense of trust and comfort, making it easier for players to engage with our content.

In contrast, the UK and European markets value freshness and innovation in game mechanics and player engagement. Our partnership with Flows, for example, allows us to offer new engagement tools and features, such as marketing jackpots and tournaments. Therefore, we approach both markets individually, tailoring our offering to meet those differing demands.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
Back To Top

Get connected with us on Social Media