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In his latest podcast episode, NEXT.io managing director Pierre Lindh delved deep into the world of crypto casinos with Matt Duea, one of the co-founders of Roobet.

As the conversation unfolded, Matt shared insights into Roobet’s journey from its inception to its current position as one of the most prominent players in the industry.

During the episode, he addressed some old rumours and shed light on the challenges and triumphs that have shaped Roobet’s trajectory.

Roobet’s ascent in the online gambling sector has been nothing short of remarkable. Established when the iGaming industry was just starting to take shape, Roobet quickly carved out a niche for itself by embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Matt attributed much of Roobet’s success to its decision to adopt these innovative technologies to create a unique user experience. “Our commitment to innovation and embracing new technologies has been instrumental in our success,” he said. “We’ve always strived to stay ahead of the curve and provide our users with cutting-edge features and a seamless gaming experience.”

But there have been bumps in the road too. Addressing past controversies, Matt opened up about the challenges Roobet has faced, including allegations made by internet sleuth ‘CoffeeZilla’ who alleged in a 6-part YouTube series that Roobet was engaging in ‘unethical’ marketing practices and ‘rigging games’ to exploit its users.

Matt vehemently denied the claims, emphasising that Roobet has always operated with integrity and transparency, and revealed the brand’s struggle to counter the allegations at the time.

“We didn’t have the sophistication to understand how to cope, or participate, in that conversation at the time,” Matt admitted candidly. He pointed out the age of the series (which was released in 2021), noting that back then, a lot of incendiary content was circulated regarding many different operators as a result of misunderstandings of the industry, given it was still relatively small in size, and the market was still educating themselves.

“If you watch it now with 2024 eyes, it’s obvious it comes from a naïve place,” he noted.

Roobet, like many of its counterparts in the crypto casino space, was founded by gamers who grew up in the iGaming world and were familiar with how it worked. But with a growing community who were new to the space, and gamers just getting to grips with brand management, Matt recalls that Roobet faced a dilemma – fearing that any response might inadvertently add fuel to the fire.

“We pay very close attention to conversation in the community,” he said. “But at the time, none of us necessarily felt worthy of speaking for the entire group at that level.”

Looking back, Matt believes that the saga underscored the need for greater transparency and education in the online gambling industry, stressing the importance of open dialogue and collaboration to dispel misconceptions and foster trust with users and stakeholders alike.

Pierre asked how Roobet has responded to changes in the industry since, such as when Twitch banned several crypto casino operators, including Roobet, from streaming on the platform.

Reflecting on Twitch’s decision, Matt expressed his disappointment at Roobet being labelled as ‘unregulated’ and banned without any warning. “Twitch not only made the wrong choice, but it was heavy handed,” Matt recalled, stating that Roobet was not consulted beforehand, or even asked to modify their behaviour before the unilateral action was taken.

Roobet prides itself on its creator-friendly nature and wants to use its success in the industry to uplift other creators. It has been instrumental in helping some of the biggest names in streaming achieve success, and continues to seek out new partnerships and collaborations to empower even more creators.

Matt said that Roobet felt “like we were a part of the fabric of streaming. We had been working with streamers for a decade – and to all of a sudden to be exiled from a platform that so many people in our community rely on […] it really got me. We felt like we didn’t have a voice in the conversation again.”

But now, given Roobet’s position as a well-established player in the iGaming space, the brand feels more confident using its voice to protect not only its own reputation, but that of the industry as a whole. “You’re going to hear us speak up a bit more when it comes to some of the things that people say about our industry, because that is where Roo feels like it can participate more.”

Looking ahead, Matt stressed the pivotal role that community engagement plays in the platform’s growth strategy. Roobet’s dedication to nurturing a strong relationship with its community has no doubt been cultivated through the obstacles it has faced, recognising that meaningful interaction with its user base not only cultivates brand loyalty but also drives the team to innovate faster and develop better products.

This is demonstrated in Roobet’s focus on creating immersive and socially interactive gaming experiences. “We see the social aspect of gaming as crucial,” Matt explained. “It forges strong relationships between people, and that’s what attracts most of our users to the space.”

Moreover, Roobet actively solicits feedback and input from its community members to inform its decisions and product roadmap. “We listen to our users. Their input helps us tailor our offerings to meet their evolving needs and preferences.”

Matt is optimistic for the future of the brand, believing that Roobet’s future will be built through creating new products and opportunities for users to engage with the brand. As he aptly told Pierre: “You’re going to see us build an awful lot of stuff!”

Matt Duea is an entrepreneur and a co-founder of Roobet, a betting brand for the next generation of gamers, and part of the group behind Roobet.fun and Roobet.com.

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