BetGames’ complete overhaul and relaunch of its flagship lotto products into an all-in-one solution for global top-tier operators is as impressive as it is ambitious. CEO Dr Andreas Köberl, tells Lottery Daily why betting on Lotto Reloaded won’t just be a ‘lottery’.
Talk us through Lotto Reloaded and its use-case – what will this key revamp of your lottery offering allow you to do, that perhaps wasn’t possible before?
Köberl: The use-case is pretty much straightforward – lottery products were always our strongest category of games, but a natural evolution is, of course, required. We needed to refurbish the product, not just with a fancy new studio but also more fundamental changes, starting with the way we present the games, and over to the hardware we used, including the very best studio technology and audio equipment – and this is just a small piece of our many upgrades!
Our key focus with the improvements was all about giving the best possible experience to our customers without changing the core of what makes the vertical popular in the first place. We see all our refurbishment efforts as enablers, meaning it is not just about the technology alone.
Making it tier-one ready has also been an essential tenet of what we have been trying to achieve and that has been shown in the feedback we’ve received from leading partners. All these operators are showing fantastic growth with our Lotto right now so we’re really seeing the momentum gather pace.
From a timing perspective, we’re very happy that we’ve got it right and all our goals have been met. Despite the inherent possibility for disruption and distraction when one introduces major technology changes, we’re not seeing any dips in engagement after the first six weeks since re-launch. This makes me very confident that we’ve delivered a product that is set to lead the progression of our vertical into a new era with further improvements to come early next year.
Why was the relaunch so significant for BetGames?
AK: It was, and still is, all about diversification from a product perspective and also of our partner landscape. Emerging markets are of great interest for all major suppliers, especially since COVID due to the immense need for substituting content, and we want to lead from the front, not only in upgrading what we provide in those regions but also in tier-one and two markets. We’re here to create a wider product portfolio that can work brilliantly across all markets, established and otherwise.
With the relaunch – what are your amended goals and aspirations for the future of BetGames and the way you want to define the lottery vertical?
AK: I think the future of lottery is all about finding the right way to evolve. The audience is pretty specific and therefore evolve would be the right term here. There are ways we can go in a more engaging direction but we’re not currently seeing any brave steps from any suppliers across the industry, such as lottery game shows (not talking about adding just multipliers), that’s something I feel we’ll definitely see going forward. With Live Casino – we see 30 wheels or so available, which provides plenty of variety for players, but we haven’t really seen this with lottery yet. I think there’s a real opportunity and room in the market to be there first, and I’m sure we’ll see that eventually.
Are there any main features or technical advances you’d like to discuss regarding the new lotto suite?
AK: It’s a mixture of everything with changes across the board. When you decide in 2021 to overhaul a complete lotto studio, it’s pretty much one of the most intense, resource-heavy investments you can make for such a simple game.
As I’ve already mentioned – I’m delighted with the tech we’ve deployed. All of the hardware we use is state-of-the-art, and it really shows. We’ve focused on a development process that acts as an enabler for us – one of the more important features we wanted to incorporate was a functionality that allows us to overcome language barriers and the introduction of remote presenters. Using cutting edge technology that can virtually present 20 different languages (for example) out of one studio, is exactly the kind of innovation we think will propel our offering to where we want it to be.
We need the hardware and infrastructure to be able to process the load that is required of it as streaming can be a challenge due to it being data-heavy. This is what we’re working on but it’s not in our DNA to imitate, it’s all about creating from scratch and having a unique solution.
Did the pandemic have an impact on the decision of your recent rebranding and overhaul?
AK: Yes and no – we were very successful during the pandemic, proving ourselves with an industry-leading performance. It presented a real opportunity and a justification to commence our planned changes– although everything we had on our strategy itinerary was independent of those unfortunate circumstances. We assisted operators with their imminent need to integrate new content online, especially with the loss of retail, so there was a lot to be onboarded.
We’re now in a position to step up the implementation of our plans and increase the pace at which we’re doing it – that was the effect of the pandemic for us. As an organisation we moved into an exploration phase rather than exploitation and the dynamics of COVID showed that this is a much needed move for suppliers if they want to stay relevant. You will see some really bold steps next year from BetGames.
How do you think your lottery fans will react to the new suite? Are there any key commercial figures BetGames would like to showcase since the launch?
AK: We’ve enjoyed amazing figures – everyone loves it – so we’re delighted with the commercial performance and, even more importantly, strategically. We’ve increased momentum with some of the biggest brands in the world now approaching us on a weekly basis. As a smaller company compared to the likes of Evolution, it reflects how much momentum we’ve gained. So, what’s next? Where are the tier-ones going and how do we plan to disrupt? We’re certainly seeing that we have become a logical alternative to some of the previous industry leaders, and this is how we aim to continue. Serving tier-ones is a different story from various perspectives but we are implementing radical organisational changes to being able to serve this new category of partners and players.
Compared to many of the bigger players, we’re adaptable and agile; we can deliver the same quality with even more flexibility but that also means we need to be selective with who we go live with. Selecting or rejecting the right/wrong partners or projects is tricky, but a good position to be in. It’s all about strategic evolution, and I truly believe we’re leading the charge.