Can you tell us a bit about Lotto Hero, the ideas behind it, and the reasons for creating an interactive lottery?
Lotto Hero is an exciting mobile-friendly lottery game which gives players the chance to win a guaranteed EUR 1 million an hour, every hour, 24 hours a day. It is fresh, intuitive, and very engaging and we’re expecting it to finally put some pizzazz into an ageing vertical that has been patrolled by dinosaurs for far too long. The lottery vertical has been slow to grasp the online nettle and many operators still don’t offer an omni-channel product worthy of the name. the majority of players still view playing lottery products as an offline experience, buying tickets in a retail establishment and waiting for a weekly draw. In particular, lottery isn’t really engaging Millennials and is missing out on interaction with a new generation of players used to spin and win betting and gaming. Sportsbook and casino operators have no incentive to plug their customers into a lottery product and cross-sell opportunities are not being utilised. The real idea behind Lotto Hero was to address those issues.
What do you think will appeal to operators about Lotto Hero?
It’s a completely new game concept for the iGaming market and unlike anything that is currently being offered. It’s great for portfolio diversification. It’s risk free – as Bit8 will cover any pay-outs. We’re also sorting out the licence agreements. It is the perfect tool for cross-selling customers, as well as customer retention, reactivation, and acquisition. The commission structure is very attractive, with a much higher return than many casino products such as slots. Lastly, we’re expecting API implementation to take no longer than ten working days. Anyone that signs-up in this initial launch phase will have no development costs either. I really believe it will give operators an extra edge in retaining their customers and acquiring news ones.
You say Lotto Hero is designed to appeal to Millennials, do you think targeting this audience is vital part of creating a successful product?
It’s an obvious point, but I think if we don’t engage with younger adults and the next generation of players we will be in trouble as an industry. As the move towards mobile has proven, we are shifting towards new devices and the use of technology people are using more and more in their work and leisure time. That is particularly the case for Millennials, who would be far more at home playing lottery on their phones than they are buying lottery tickets in-shop if they had a viable option. What they don’t have at the moment is a great lottery product geared up for mobile, or that taps in to the way they like to entertained or engage with a betting product. Lotto Hero fills that gap.
How would you assess Bit8’s performance in 2016?
2016 was a great year for us. Obviously most of it focused on our platform and we had great successes rolling that out in places such as Romania. The platform will continue to be important to the business and our customers who use it. But we are very excited about Lotto Hero and the opportunities it presents for both existing and new customers. The online lottery sector is crying out for some innovation and we feel that we’ve delivered it.
Where do you hope to see Bit8 this time next year? And what are the major challenges this industry will face in the coming 12 months?
I’m very confident that we will have a host of operators in different territories signed up to Lotto Hero. We will then be a significant player in the lottery vertical, as well as a casino platform provider. I think as an industry we face major challenges, when it comes to regulation and taxation. But these aren’t particularly new. What we need to do is innovate and come up with solutions that help acquire more players, retain existing ones and entertain them. Lotto Hero gives operators the chance to transform the lives of their players from ordinary to extraordinary.
What have your highlights been at ICE this year? What is the importance of shows such as this to Bit8?
For us, it was the Lotto Hero launch, obviously. We had a lot of interest and it was the perfect forum in which to launch a new product like that with the whole of the industry in town. Otherwise, it was a great opportunity to catch up with clients and meet some new people. The industry is constantly evolving and shows are a great opportunity to talk about the challenges we face and business opportunities. It’s an important three days for us each year.