How did Helio Gaming begin?
We have actually started working on the cutting-edge lottery platform way before Helio Gaming was actually conceived. Back at the end of 2016, we started building a fully-fledged lottery engine that then drove our flagship game LottoHero. Having said that, the game was not the only one on our mind. We had big plans from day 1 for the sector. The team and I who are involved have years of experience in building cutting-edge PAM platforms. So learning from short-comings and past mistakes pushed us to build a technologically and product-wise superior lottery platform.
Helio Gaming was created once we had the first version of the platform ready. Since we created a system not just for LottoHero, we came up with the brand of Helio Gaming. It is a derivative of “Helios” who is the god and personification of the sun in ancient Greek mythology. Through it, we were portraying the brand to shed new light on the industry.
…and why the focus on the lottery markets?
We focus on the lottery sector for one simple reason. Even though the Lottery vertical is one of the largest overall gaming verticals in terms of revenues, it is declining because of lack of innovation and reluctancy to digitize the offering for the next generation. This is the niche that we address. Even though we offer a combination of retail services and online services through the capabilities of our platform, we focus on online-driven innovation.
Why lottery over the online casino industry?
The online casino industry is a very crowded environment where there are numerous suppliers that are well-established and creating very good content. We didn’t want to be another me-too supplier. We decided to do something which very few have attempted. Giving a fresh coat of paint to the lottery sector. Stepping into the unknown is both exciting and scary at the same time. However that is where people and companies grow. Success or failure, you always take new experiences for personal and professional growth.
How do you see the lottery market evolving in Africa & Asia?
These markets are growing in terms of people having access to the internet year-on-year. Whilst Africa has growth in the number of new people having access to the internet every year, more digital services are being offered to these users. Hence they are un-tapped potential players. Asia has an estimate of 55% of the world’s total online population. Not much lottery services are being offered in this region. These are all opportunities to offer something to players that were not offered before.
Do you use third-party technology providers, or have you developed your own platform?
The way we have tackled the technology solution is that we created a flexible, however domain specific lottery platform. It is focused on what it was built to do, whilst not being constrained from continuing to evolve. Finally, to answer your question, we have built it from the ground-up. Thanks to this approach, we can have full control on the flexibility and product concepts that we decided to infuse in it.
How will you adapt your offering to different lottery markets?
The way our platform is built is that we can create different games easily. We tailor make them to the lottery markets we are targeting. Apart from that, we have also added features to existing games that make it affordable to markets that have a much lower spending power than in Europe for example.
Which lottery markets are on your radar?
The emerging markets are on our radar for expansion. However we never forget the core European market where most of the big online gaming companies are operating or were conceived. These operators need to look at enhancing their offering to differentiate themselves from a crowded market. Why not do it with an un-tapped online lottery vertical that can help their acquisition and retention of a very precious player database?