Pull back the curtain

Ahead of launching an innovative new lottery game at ICE, Bit8 CEO Angelo Dalli argues why the vertical will be a key driver of industry growth this year

Current market demands mean that online gambling operators can no longer be a one trick pony; to survive and thrive in what is a fiercely competitive market they have to be all things to all people. And while some are making solid progress in becoming truly multi-vertical, most are stumbling at the final hurdle when it comes to one particular product. And that is lottery. But this year that will change, and operators will embrace the vertical to overcome the limitations imposed by their current game portfolios.

Lottery has long been seen as a slow and geriatric product unable to keep pace with the fast and furious slots games that engage players and drive revenues. And to some extent that is true. In the past, lotteries have been run by governments and states, and have lacked the investment required to port them online in a way that revolutionises the product and brings it into the modern era. This has meant they have been unable to tap into the psyche of younger players, particularly millennials.

The modern era

But over the past year or so, a growing number have started to realise the importance of offering their players a modern online game that is mobile optimised. Many have made strides, with some taking their offering beyond simple draw-based games to include instant win and slots. Those that have embraced online have been able to grow their player base, better engage customers, and ultimately grow revenues. But here at Bit8 we wanted to be able to offer the same opportunities to commercial operators.

To do this, we have developed a new lottery product, which we will be launching at ICE Totally Gaming in a few weeks’ time. By taking strands of DNA from casino and sportsbook, we have re-imagined lottery, bringing impetus and excitement to the game. While exact details remain under wraps until we pull back the curtain, I can say that USPs include large jackpots with regular draws happening 365 days a year, no player skill requirement and a mobile-friendly UX designed for millennials but with universal appeal.

Shifting focus

We have shifted our focus to lottery as we believe it will be the primary source of growth this year, allowing operators to finally offer their players the full package. Lottery is the prefect addition to their game portfolios, acting as the glue between casino, poker, sportsbook and bingo and driving cross-sell. Lottery also fosters incredible retention and loyalty; a powerful tool in the current market where player promiscuity remains high and churn an ongoing hurdle for operators to clear.

The industry enters 2017 off the back of a year of incredible success and growth; the challenge now is ensuring that continues over the coming 12 months. We believe lottery can be the catalyst for this, allowing operators to unlock the true potential of their verticals and games, and stay firmly ahead of their rivals. For those who continue to ignore lottery, they will be powerless when it comes to preventing their players migrating to sites that offer a full suite of games, those who have become truly multi-vertical.

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