Meet Them: Justin ThouinDirector of Casino Gaming at CryptoLogic
CryptoLogic is recognized as a pioneer and leading software developer in the rapidly expanding Internet gaming industry. It was founded in 1995 by brothers Andrew and Mark Rivkin, who started with a unique Internet idea regarding communication protocols– to settle transactions securely, reliably and quickly.
With initial seed financing and the addition of several key programming experts later that year, development of the first ECash and gaming application began in early 1996. Shortly thereafter, CryptoLogic completed a reverse takeover of a shell company on the Canadian Dealing Network, raised additional funds and completed its first generation of software.
In November 1996, CryptoLogic's wholly owned subsidiary, WagerLogic, completed its first license, InterCasino went online, offering safe and secure play for real money on the Internet. InterCasino was one of the first "play for real" casinos on the Internet and the first to adopt client/server technology as a means of improving the gaming experience. From that point on, CryptoLogic's software has been recognized throughout the world as the benchmark by which standards are set and measured.
In September 1998, CryptoLogic left the CDN for the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and is now traded on the TSX under the symbol CRY. In March 2000, the company began trading in the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol CRYP. In September 2003, the company began trading on the London Stock Exchange Main Market under the symbol CRP.
In recent times, CryptoLogic hit the headlines with a ground-breaking licensing deal with Marvel Entertainment. The exclusive multi-year licensing agreement signed in late 2004, gives CryptoLogic the rights as sole developer of Marvel-branded casino slot games on the Internet.
Characters including The Hulk, Daredevil, The X-Men, Blade and The Punisher came to life through five 9-line progressive jackpot video slot games. The games offer multi-stage, interactive bonus levels with three separate jackpots available to be won - the first multi-level jackpot games ever to be offered on the Internet.
In today's highly competitive environment, CryptoLogic’s deal with Marvel highlighted an important issue facing online operators: brand identity.
We spoke with Justin Thouin, Director of Casino Gaming at CryptoLogic to find out more about this pioneering company and the Marvel deal:
Justin, what is your role at CryptoLogic?
I am the Director of Casino and High Margin Gaming. I am responsible for the success of CryptoLogic’s Casino, Bingo, and Lottery products. It is my mission to ensure that CryptoLogic offers the absolute best casino product in the world to its licensees and their players.
How did you initially get involved with the company?
I was working in consumer marketing with Maple Leaf Foods, Canada’s largest food company, but wanted to move into the entertainment industry. When the opportunity arose to work at CryptoLogic, a Canadian based, publicly traded, market leading company in a fast moving and opportunity filled industry I was excited at the prospect. It is certainly very different from the traditional packaged goods consumer marketing path I intended to follow, but I love it!
What initiatives have you been involved in during your time at CryptoLogic?
I have been fortunate enough to have been able to shape the direction of CryptoLogic’s casino portfolio. As such, I have driven all new games and platform improvements since 2003. These have included such innovations as the internet’s first three level jackpot games (Marvel Jackpot slots), the internet’s most popular and prestigious jackpot slot (Millionaires Club), and the internet’s first UK Fruit games, as well as all the other elements that have allowed CryptoLogic to be bestowed Gambling Online Magazine’s top casino software award.
Tell me about your securing of Marvel Entertainment for CryptoLogic’s games…
One of the biggest barriers to entry for online gamblers is trust. Through our player research we ascertained that affiliations with tier one consumer preferred brands would provide an extra layer of comfort to players. We also recognized that land based casinos have been rolling out themed games for years. Marvel is a tier one brand with characters that players are familiar with and love. As such, we approached them. The process and discussions were lengthy, as in the past, major consumer brands like Marvel were leery of online gaming. But after they discovered we are a publicly traded company on three major exchanges, audited by KPMG and with a reputation second to none, they went from uncomfortable to excited.
What are the short-term and long-term plans for CryptoLogic?
It is our goal, in casino, to be the leading e-gaming software provider to the largest and most trusted online casinos. We will lead the market in innovation by ensuring that we understand the player better than the competition does, through rigorous market research. We will continue to enhance player’s trust in us through licensed brands, and will stop at nothing to ensure that CryptoLogic powered casinos are the most entertaining on the internet.