After unveiling the company’s latest generation of products during a special presentation at this week’s Betting on Sports Europe conference in London, BetGames’ CEO Andreas Koeberl told SBC News about the new offerings and why the UK market is such a big part of his plans for the second half of 2022.
SBC: With BetGames rumoured to have big plans in the works for the UK this year, can you give our readers any hints as to what’s coming up?
Andreas Koeberl: The UK definitely is a big focus market for us going forward. Although a tough playground, the upside for BetGames there is massive. We will introduce two new product verticals this year that are specifically targeting the UK player.
The first one, TWAIN SPORT, is our big bet on reinventing live entertainment and probably the first real content innovation since the introduction of game shows. Leveraging a unique partnership with the Hybrid Sport Federation, we will provide betting on top-notch, action-packed and high-frequency sports. You could say it’s like turning virtuals into reality.
The second vertical will be something we develop with an operator as a strategic partner. The first game of that vertical is optimised purely for the UK player. We will announce it in the next 3-4 weeks.
SBC: How do you see the UK right now as Europe’s leading market, compared to say 5-10 years ago?
AK: Obviously, the biggest challenge is the regulatory corset that becomes tighter and tighter. It makes it even trickier than before to push innovation into the market. Large established brands tend to benefit from these regulations, while smaller competitors might get wiped out. The consolidation on the market we saw in terms of M&A deals supports that assertion.
Yet, it is still a massive market and offers significant growth potential for us. We are preparing our proper market entry for almost a year as you better do your homework – both from a compliance perspective and the demanding player. What we see now is that the top operators invest a lot in pivoting away from their high-roller dependency towards casual players. That gives you a hint of what products we are aiming for – fast & entertaining.
SBC: How does your experience across both operator, at HPYBet, and now supply side at BetGames shape your view of the UK market compared to the likes of Germany and Austria?
AK: The UK is way more mature than Germany and Austria. Germany finally got its regulation which is and will be under permanent adoption, as they will learn while implementing. The uncertainty is a multiple higher compared to the UK. The grey market in both countries is still massive, although Austria has a clear regulation for retail – the online world looks way different.
Betting in the UK is somewhat part of the culture while in the German-speaking countries, it is still somewhat negatively perceived. It is hard to compare the markets, but I would predict that Germany will most likely become the number one market in Europe within the next few years.
SBC: Given the UK’s extensive tradition of sports betting, how do you see that shaping player demand, and indeed a method of creating crossover live products from the world of casino that can appeal to sports fans?
AK: That’s what we are aiming for with our two new verticals. It is a tricky thing to cross sell a UK sports punter into casino, yet some live products have proven to be successful. With TWAIN SPORT, we are introducing a live entertainment category that combines the emotion of sports with the thrill of fast-paced games. So, the opportunity is there, and I think that the combination of our new TWAIN SPORT vertical and the new live dealer products we are currently forging, will give our operators the best chances on this journey.