Anna Vikmane, BETER Live: Welcoming a new era of betting

With a plan to transform live casino as we know it, Anna Vikmane (pictured below) has set her sights on creating new experiences for bettors through the launch of BETER Live. 

Making its debut at the end of 2021, BETER wants its live casino division to surpass the expectations of the ‘new generation of player’ – something which Vikmane, the Director of BETER Live, believes is possible through entertainment-focused experiences and international expansion.

SBC: Congratulations on the launch of BETER Live! Can you tell us a bit about your vision and what you plan to offer the Live Casino vertical? 

AV: Thank you! We truly believe that details matter – when you develop from scratch, and with the right focus, you can create something truly different that the market has never seen before. 

In launching BETER Live, our mission is to provide the most advanced selection of high-tech, entertainment-first gaming experiences available in live casino – and as a result, surpass the expectations of the new generation of players. 

As we all know, the main task for live casino is entertainment – which we’re seeing with the likes of game shows now from Evolution and other major providers such as Playtech and Pragmatic Play.  

As we see it, our first goal is to take the classic games that players know and love and then look to upgrade this to a next gen offering beyond what’s already out there. 

This is very much part of our philosophy, and for us, it’s about creating the best experience available – catering to the new generation of player that wants to be entertained first and foremost.

SBC: As part of BETER, how does BETER Live fit into the company’s offering and what elements of BETER’s existing technology and philosophy will you integrate into your service?

AV: BETER’s core value is entertainment – we’re here to provide for the new era of betting – and we want to fit right into that with the same unbeatable engagement experience, which means we want our players to enjoy their leisure time, no matter how they choose to spend it. 

By incorporating live casino into BETER’s core offering, I see this as a fantastic opportunity to give even more availability to our operator partners to offer their players an even more diverse spread to entertain and excite, whether that’s esports, fast games, or indeed, live casino. 

SBC: For our readers out there who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about your background at Playtech and GVC (Entain) and how you plan to bring your experience to the brand? 

AV: I’m lucky to be blessed with a fantastic range of experience across live casino – I started from humble beginnings as a dealer a number of years ago and have worked my way up. Given I’ve had the chance to experience every part of the process, I know the challenges that exist on every level. 

Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful to have had such an extensive range of experience across both the B2B and B2C and elements of the vertical. My work on the B2C side has enabled me to really see the end product from the player’s viewpoint, and I’m sure this will prove invaluable.

My role as Director means I need to now take all that experience and bring it together – and this is where attention to details come in, everything from the chairs to the studio experience to the camera focus – and then over to B2B with the sales element as well as presenting to operators.

SBC: What’s your current view of the Live Casino vertical? As one of the last 18 months’ success stories, how do you see it evolving over the coming years?

AV: BETER’s mission, as it has always been, is to create positive relationships with the player, who in turn loves the product. The way to do that is to create and maintain an experience which is accessible, fun and safe. 

I see the gaming experience very much evolving in a way that puts players in control – complemented by a truly personalised delivery. This will prove to be a core part of live casino’s evolution, in effect putting the customer in the driving seat to allow products and games that can be adapted to both customers and spending limits.

Beyond that, I believe it’s all about low-spend and providing playing sessions that offer real entertainment that players want to spend time with.. Providing engagement value that offers an experience that makes players want to stay around and have fun with is the goal, providing a level of sustainable enjoyment that is enjoyable in the long-term. 

SBC: In regard to the BETER Live team, your launch announcement mentions “video game experts, TV-show producers, promoters, as well as live casino heavyweights”, can you tell us a bit more about who you’ve assembled and what makes things special for BETER Live? 

AV: Our goal was to assemble the best team possible, and I believe we’ve done just that.   Our recruitment has focused on specialists with many years of experience – and with our core vision to offer next-gen products, our aim has been to widen the net of creativity and look to the future.

What do I mean by this? Well, for us it’s all about covering every detail. We’re incorporating TV-show production experts, as well as broadcasters from outside of the gaming world as the future of live casino is so much more than just the dealer’s table, it’s about creating an immersive entertainment experience. 

Given we have so many passionate people as part of our team, we’re confident that we’re on the verge of something special, and with a flexible, constantly adaptable approach, we have the ability to build something that can keep delivering, whilst staying ahead of the rest of the pack. 

SBC: Last but not least, what’s your plans for the first year of BETER Live – where would you like to see the brand by this time next year? What key markets do you see having the highest growth potential? 

AV: 2021 was all about bringing the product to market on time, which we’ve done – so now the hard work starts. The current focus is on scaling and offering the industry something new. 

While I can’t say too much –  the beginning of 2022 will be focused on our unique roadmap of products and features. We plan to offer the likes of game shows and more, all with an exciting new twist in comparison to what’s already available on the market.

Regarding the million-dollar question on which markets have growth potential, based on my previous experience within the vertical, I firmly believe Europe remains key for live casino. 

The core markets in Europe will always drive principal growth, while Eastern Europe is catching up fast. For us right now, it’s all about looking at where we can deliver the most value and then adjust our business development strategy accordingly.

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