Ian Catchick, BetGames: Emerging markets require a much more bespoke approach to content

As a global company, BetGames has to ensure that its products are tailored towards the differing demographics across each market. But while a ‘one size fits all’ approach may work for some more mature jurisdictions, Ian Catchick, CPO at BetGames, believes that emerging markets require a much more individualised approach to game content.

Speaking to SBC News, Catchick begins by reflecting on the highlights of his time at BetGames so far before giving us a sneak peak into some of the content to come in 2022.

SBC: How has your previous experience helped in what you’ve been delivering for BetGames since your appointment last year? How much has the alignment of your skills and BetGames vision shaped activity there?

I have been fortunate enough to work with some extremely talented people, across a range of tier 1 global iGaming organisations. Having experience in running P&Ls in key product verticals allows me to share a broader view on territory, product and channel management, whilst also understanding that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to developing products for different customer types and nationalities.

BetGames is going through an exciting transformation, where we are adding to our product verticals while optimising and simplifying our existing product portfolio. I feel my experience should help align organisations to a more customer focused operation, especially for those companies like BetGames that are looking to innovate and develop new products, based on real player needs.

Since joining BetGames, we have simplified many of our products and are developing further insights into player behaviours – a strategic change that is driving the product roadmap. We are set to launch a range of exciting products that will be based on these drivers, and we will also pay attention to developing our current product portfolio for both digital and retail channels.

SBC: BetGames has long been at the forefront of technical excellence in content provision – how much of a challenge does this high bar represent as you map out the year ahead in your role?

We are very proud of our technological capabilities; we have an incredibly highly skilled technology team that is always eager to push boundaries. We know that the gambling industry is highly competitive and moves at an extremely fast pace so this compels us to constantly innovate our product offering and question how we can do things differently, or better. Currently, our teams are working on a number of very progressive and innovative projects, and we can’t wait to update our players and partners with some exciting news.

SBC: What does that year ahead look like? How are the latest tech developments being leveraged for BetGames upcoming game design and delivery?

For 2022 we have three key areas that we’re focusing on, the first is optimising and simplifying our current portfolio – we’ve already made good progress in this area and will continue developing this throughout the year. The second is to introduce a brand-new set of bespoke games for some of our partners in the hope that we can enhance our relationship with operators we work with.

Lastly, we aim to deliver a completely new product vertical that we will share details on in the very near future. This represents a change in our delivery functions, and we are now positioned to double or even treble output versus the previous year. This has been driven by extensive planning, smart technological decisions and a clear vision of market needs.

SBC: Does your development change depending on the market a product is aimed at? Do emerging markets present more of a challenge than those more established?

While we have an existing portfolio of transferrable content that is already popular in a number of markets, due to the simplicity of our games, however, with the idea of expanding further we do have products that are aimed at and target specific market needs.

A one size fits all approach is the way we operate in mass markets, although this is something which doesn’t always work for new jurisdictions, or equally our bespoke games. Emerging markets create a different challenge, where we need to understand and evaluate market needs in order to develop the right solution. Because we are a global business, our products are available on more than 1,000 websites in addition to large retail estates, which gives us an international and local understanding of certain areas. This allows us to validate our strong relationships with our global partners as we ensure development of the appropriate solutions for the right markets.

SBC: How much of a consideration is the evolving regulatory landscape in your work? What specific measures do you adopt to cater for this?

The regulatory landscape is constantly evolving, and our dedicated compliance team is focused on ensuring that BetGames is always aware of the changing landscape around us, this allows us to adapt quickly to regulatory changes. Similarly, when entering new markets, we obviously ensure that our product is appropriate to those regulatory frameworks and is built in a flexible manner to ensure that we are flexible and can change quickly if necessary.

Through a mixture of careful planning, constant re-evaluation of several regulatory landscapes, flexible technology solutions and an ongoing dialogue with regulators, operators and industry experts, we are able to maintain focus in this important area.

SBC: What exciting products and developments can we expect throughout 2022?

We are excited about the new planned product launches, and equally as excited about the ongoing optimisation and simplification initiatives that will reinvent our existing portfolio. Since the last quarter of 2021, we have tested and implemented changes on a number of features, and this is now embedded as a way of working, where we enhance, test and deploy all successful changes, with some really positive results flowing through.

Additionally, we will be looking to launch a thrilling portfolio of bespoke content, with new game concepts that differ from our existing portfolio. While the plan is to launch a brand-new product vertical this summer, will offer an engaging product that is unique and a fresh introduction to the market, we will share some further detail very soon.

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