Skill gaming startup Hold Gaming has launched Blackjack Fire, the first title in its roster of skill-based casino games.
Using a peer-to-peer format in which opposing players use the same deck of cards, the offering is available in 36 US states, as prizes are awarded based on player skill, rather than on elements of chance.
“We created the first viable platform where the end-to-end experience for the player is based on skill, rather than chance so there’s no more losing to the house,” Hold Gaming founder and chief executive Phillip Runyan explained.
“The format of the games means we’re increasing by tenfold the US states where iGaming is available and making them accessible on more platforms than ever before.”
The founder, a former marketing manager at social casino giant DoubleDown Interactive, explained that the games had been designed to combine elements of esports, free-to-play titles and online casino to create a new experience for millennials.
“We are built for the next generation of gamers,” he said. “We have a highly competitive target market who have grown up in the digital world. It’s not enough to simply win anymore, players want the glory, they want their spot on the leaderboard for the world to see and they want to get paid.”
Runyan added that the company’s platform was designed to be compliant with US anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations.
“By building compliance into the platform from the ground up, we’re able to provide a smooth on-ramp to verify customers instead of adding these necessary checks and balances as an after-thought,” he said.
The game is already available on the App Store and has been installed more than 20,000 times, paying out more than $10,000 in cash prizes.
“We’ve been operating largely in stealth mode to date, refining our gameplay and making sure we have the absolute best experience for players,” Runyan explained.
The launch of Blackjack Fire is to be followed by the roll-out of additional titles, with Hold Gaming also looking at opportunities to expand into new markets.
“Based on the success of Blackjack Fire, we are in the process of releasing the game across more platforms including web and mobile channels,” Runyan added. “We have several new game launches in the pipeline and are looking at enhancing gameplay through live events and tournaments.
“We’re also looking to expand the offering into other markets such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Europe.”