This article originally appeared in the November/December edition of Gambling Insider magazine: BetGames.TV’s new CEO, Andreas Köberl, speaks exclusively to Gambling Insider after stepping into his new role with the supplier
What has it been like taking on a new role during the COVID-19 pandemic and the virtual world we currently operate in?
I definitely chose a very disruptive time for my career move. Moving to a new country and especially understanding a new culture during COVID-19 is clearly a radical escape from my comfort zone. The majority of our team are working remotely, so the office can be lonely at times. Saying that, it’s 2020 and we have the tech and company infrastructure to make everything work just as it always would. We meet in-person regularly, as and when it’s appropriate, and our management team are returning steadily to our ultra-modern offices which are a nice change to home. It’s certainly challenging but being flexible is key to us growing as individuals and as an organisation.
How will your past experience in gaming - and at Microsoft - help you in the role?
I have been very fortunate to learn from various industry leaders, particularly during the last three and a half years at Playtech, which was a fantastic ‘school’ to grow within. BetGames.TV has now reached a critical size with its own 10-digit figure in annual stakes, as well as more than 200 employees, so channelling my previous experience is going to be key to tackle the next level of growth. I have helped form and reshape various teams and organisations in the past, and so aggressive growth strategies are nothing new to me; I’m excited to bring these big ambitions to my new role.
What are your immediate goals at BetGames.TV?
We are executing a comprehensive strategy focused on aggressive growth which will challenge every part of our company. We have ambitious plans to reshape ourselves to become totally flexible and scalable in being able to tackle the exciting challenges that are posed by new customer segments and our own expansion. Key to this will be removing any blockers to our progress and ensuring we’re as streamlined and dynamic as we can possibly be.
How do you see the online gaming market developing over the next five years?
That depends on the market segment, but clearly COVID-19 is a much-needed gamechanger when it comes to digital innovation. Bearing in mind that almost two-thirds of the global workforce will consist of millennials and those in generation Z by 2025, new forms of entertainment will inevitably surface that suit these digital natives. I would also expect to see further consolidation across the industry, while the regulatory environment looks set to become more and more challenging.
We may not know the exact nature of these various changes until nearer the time, but we can do all in our power to ensure we become an organisation that can deal with anything that comes our way. Our innovation cannot be faulted, but there’s always more we can do to make certain we help lead the future of live gaming and continue our growth in the long term.
We are executing a comprehensive strategy focused on aggressive growth which will challenge every part of our company. We have ambitious plans to reshape ourselves to become totally flexible and scalable in being able to tackle the exciting challenges that are posed by new customer segments and our own expansion
How key do you think retail will remain across emerging markets?
There’s an apt saying that "the condemned live longer!” So, I think cash betting is allowed in retail, it’s only going to continue and even strengthen in emerging markets. However, mobile infrastructure is improving massively and with the accompanying demographic shift, there is bound to be a decline at some point. Retail is limited in its offering and will only become more so as resources are solely placed in digital.
Which new markets will BetGames.TV be focusing its attention on, in the year ahead?
This is a key part of our strategy project. We are and will continue to do our homework properly and assess potential focus markets in their minor detail. Our offerings are pretty much everywhere from a geographical perspective, so we do have some solid data on how our product is perceived and how we need to improve to foster that growth. At the top level, it is a question of assessing market potential and ensuring accurate prioritisation of investments, which applies to both geography and customer segment. We’ll lock this down in the next couple of weeks.