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Betsson launches first ever Spanish TV Campaign

Stockholm-listed online gambling group Betsson AB has announced the launch of its first ever Spanish market TV Campaign ‘Suecos, pero emocionantes (Swedish, but exciting)’, promoting

The European multi-brand operator launched its initial Spanish online gambling property last February and seeks to introduce Spanish audiences to its trusted flagship Betsson brand.

“The TV commercial is intentionally non-conventional to stand out from the other online gambling commercials aired in Spain. It is presenting to a new Spanish audience” detailed Betsson marketing.

In 2018, Betsson seeks to ramp up its coverage and presence for the expanding Spanish online gambling market.

“We hope our Spanish audience likes this campaign as much as we do. Betsson is our flagship brand and we are all about customer entertainment. We want to be the biggest entertainer in the Spanish market” said Andrea Rossi, Betsson Group’s Managing Director, Southern Europe and LatAm.

“We launched earlier this year and we are now introducing the brand to the wider Spanish audience as a Swedish market leader, a trustworthy online gambling operator and an expert in entertainment.”
Join: 2011/11/24 Messages: 1130 Phone: LT

Betsson unveils new appointment to strengthen Malta relations

Betsson Group has announced the appointment of Roderick Spiteri Schillig as Head of Employer Branding and External Relations.

Betsson’s new appointment will be part of the firm’s corporate communications team, and will primarily be tasked with taking care of Betsson Group’s relations with trade media and local media in Malta, acting as the spokesperson for communications matters. He will also be shaping and implementing Betsson Group’s EVP (employer value proposition) and handling the overall employer branding strategy.

Jesper Svensson, CEO of Betsson’s operations commented: “We are delighted to have Roderick join the Betsson Group as we are committed to continue improving our position as the employer of choice on the island. Roderick’s local knowledge and understanding of the iGaming industry will help us convey our message and share the Betsson experience.”

Speaking on his new role, Schillig added: “I’m thrilled to be joining at this exciting time and am looking forward to supporting in evolving Betsson Group’s story both within the industry as well as beyond. Being the largest gaming organisation in Malta with more than 900 employees gives us the opportunity to bring about positive change within the communities we work in.”

Schillig comes from LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, where he served as Head of Communications, responsible for all corporate and internal communication activities, including employer branding. Before that, he managed all the marketing and communications efforts of the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).
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Western European growth and World Cup effect boosts Betsson

Group increases across the board have been reported by Betsson AB in the online gambling organisations latest interim report, covering the period from 1 January – 30 June of this year.

Increased efficiency, product upgrades and a systematic following of its “back on track plan,” centred around the four strategic areas of growth in core markets, product and technology, efficiencies and M&A activities temporarily on hold, have been highly praised by the firm.

The second quarter, covering the period April-June, saw group revenues increase 14 per cent, hitting the SEK 1.3bn (£116m) mark, as opposed to SEK 1.1bn (£101.5m) for the corresponding period in 2017, 3.7 per cent of which is aligned to the Russian World Cup which began on June 14.

Casino revenues increased 16 per cent during Q2, soaring over SEK 1bn in a quarter for the first time, while sportsbook grew 17 per cent.

Operating income was also heavily impacted by the footballing showpiece; a 45 per cent growth reaching SEK 300m (£26m), up from 2017’s SEK 207m (£17.8m)

This helped the group achieve increases in its figures for the January – June (H1) period, with revenues reaching SEK 2.5bn, (£220.3m), up 12 per cent on the last year’s SEK 2.2bn (£196.4m).

Operating income for the period saw a boost of 14 per cent during H1, rising from SEK 448m (£38m) to SEK 512m (£44m) this time around.

Praising growth across Western Europe as well as the increased activity during the World Cup, Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall commented: “ At the core of everything is our company culture and organisation. Betsson is as good as its employees and it has been a pleasure to see the enthusiasm and hard work of the Betssonites during the World Cup.

“The third quarter has begun with daily revenues higher than the average daily revenue for the full third quarter last year. The revenue increase is to a large extent a result of activity related to the FIFA World Cup that ended on 15 July 2018 and should not be regarded as guidance for the full third quarter.

“We continue to work hard with the ambition to make Betsson’s product offering more competitive and the marketing efforts more efficient. However, it will still take time until we see sustainable improvements.”
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Betsson doubles commitment to Ice Hockey sponsoring European CHL

Stockholm-listed online gambling group Betsson AB has doubled-up its commitment to the sport of ice hockey, becoming the official sponsor of the Champions Hockey League (CHL).

Consisting of 26 pro-teams from Europe’s 6 leading ice hockey leagues, the CHL is recognised as European hockey’s biggest international tournament.

Confirming the agreement, Betsson marketing detailed that the CHL sponsorship would help the betting group expand and maintain its multi-brand portfolio across several core target markets including the Nordics, Germany, Czech Rep and Switzerland.

The CHL partnership closely follows last week’s announcement that Betsson had undertaken its ‘largest sponsorship commitment to date’ becoming title sponsor of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

As a stakeholder in European ice hockey, Betsson has outlined its commitment to promoting responsible gambling, improving standards and supporting the sport’s grassroots and social initiatives.

Heading up Betsson sponsorship initiatives, Peter Zäll Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) stated

“We are already the main sponsors of SHL and are now deepening our commitment to ice hockey further. To see the Swedish and Finnish top teams facing competition from some of the other European teams is exciting and good for hockey. It is also exciting for us and further proof of a goal of being hockey’s top betting operator in Europe”.
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New Swedish outlook sees Betsson appoint Garbergs Stockholm as new brand lead

Gearing up for the re-regulation of the Swedish online gambling market (in-bound for January 2019), online gambling group Betsson AB has confirmed the appointment of Stockholm advertising agency Garbergs as its new creative and brand marketing lead.

Last week, Betsson Chief Strategy Officer Peter Zäll confirmed to Swedish media that Garbergs had begun work on a number of Betsson multi-channel campaigns, which will be launched in early October.

Zäll further revealed that Garbergs would act as the creative and brand lead for Betsson’s Swedish Hockey League (SHL) title sponsorship.

Announced last August, Betsson’s SHL partnership represents the European operator’s biggest sponsorship to date, in which Betsson will emphasis ‘social responsibility, combined with a commitment to developing Swedish ice hockey grassroots initiatives’.

In its latest update, Betsson AB governance has highlighted the importance of the SHL title sponsorship, as a guiding marketing initiative for the firm’s entry within the re-regulated Swedish online gambling marketplace.

Founded in 1987, Garbergs Stockholm is considered one of Sweden’s leading independent advertising agencies, specialising in developing high coverage marketing campaigns maximising outreach and audience brand activation.
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Betsson revamps Spanish market loyalty program the Spanish market online gambling property of Stockholm-listed Betsson AB, has revamped its customer loyalty and bonuses program launching ‘Betsson Puntos’ (Betsson Points).

Tailored for the market, Betsson Puntos simplifies customer rewards under the slogan ‘loyalty always pays back’, with the operator launching a ‘points-per-wager’ program.

Moving forward, all customers who wager €10 on betting markets, slots or bingo games will receive 1 Betsson Punto. For table games play, customers will receive 1 Betsson Punto for every €50 wagered.

The program is connected to bonus system, which sees players rewarded with €1 bonus for every 100 Betsson Puntos accumulated.

Confirming the launch of Betsson Puntos, Andrea Rossi, Managing Director for Betsson Spain commented:

“Customer satisfaction is our main driver, and now, thanks to our full customer-centric loyalty programme, our players will receive Betsson Points every time they play at Earned points can be exchanged in bonuses to be played in our Casino or staked into our Sportsbook”.
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Betsson AB continues recovery momentum as firm looks to ‘make its home mark’

Stockholm-listed online gambling group Betsson AB, has this morning published its Q3 trading update (period ending 30 September), reporting robust growth achieved alongside a number of operational efficiencies implemented through its ‘back on track’ corporate recovery plan.

Updating the market, Betsson records group Q3 revenues of SEK 1,427 million (Q3 2017: SEK 1,181m), detailing growth and strong player activity across all its operating regions.

“The increased revenue is achieved by a combination of product improvements and more efficient marketing spend. In the third quarter, re-allocation of marketing investments between different markets, and also in the mix of traditional marketing and affiliate marketing, made it possible to efficiently grow revenue” Details Betsson AB Group CEO Pontus Lindwall in the corporate update.

Led by enhanced operational efficiencies, at a product level Betsson records a number of KPI gains as its casino division grew by 22% and sportsbook revenue grew by 23% maintaining a sportsbook margin of 7.4%.

Closing Q3 2018 trading, Betsson governance declares an operating income of EBIT SEK 340 million (€32 million), representing a 57% increase on corresponding Q3 2017’s SEK 216 million (€20 million).

Year-to-date, Betsson governance is confident of delivering on its full-year 2018 expectations, as the company reports group revenues of SEK 3,983.2 million (YTD 2017: 3,460 m), combined with a group operating EBIT of SEK 852 million (YTD 2017: 663.8 m).

Moving forward, Betsson governance looks forward to the re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market, in which the Stockholm enterprise will promote sustainability and the development of sports programmes and grassroots initiatives

During the trading period, Betsson secured its biggest corporate sponsorship commitment to date, becoming the official lead sponsor of the SHL – Swedish Hockey League.

“We expect marketing investments to increase as online gaming licences are introduced in Sweden. Betsson was one of the first to apply for online gaming licences in Sweden” Pontus Lindwall further detailed.

“We continue to execute on the “back on track” plan which includes a number of product and technology improvements, additional efficiencies and focus on core markets. The fourth quarter has begun with daily revenues higher than the average daily revenue for the full fourth quarter last year.”

As reported previously, Betsson governance continues to restructure its executive leadership team, with the company seeking a new Chief Financial Officer following the departure of Kaaren Hilsen this September.

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Betsson AB appoints ‘Strategy Pro’ Peter Frey as group Product/Tech lead

Merging the executive positions of Chief Product and Technical Officer, Stockholm-listed online gambling group Betsson AB has confirmed the appointment of Peter Frey to its corporate leadership team.

A seasoned technology and digital strategy expert, Frey joins Betsson’s executive team from Bonnier Group, Scandinavia’s largest media publishing group, where he most recently served as Chief Technical Officer (2016-2018).

Confirming the appointment of Frey as combined ‘CPO & CTO’, Betsson governance highlights the executive’s extensive track-record in delivering successful projects, noting his success at transforming Swedish newspaper – Aftonbladet into Sweden’s most visited website.

Frey who is set to join the Stockholm enterprise within the coming months will be a key stakeholder in Betsson’s ongoing transformation programme, executed in 2018 by Betsson Chief Executive & Chairman Pontus Lindwall.

In its update, Betsson confirms that Frey will work closely with new Chief Commercial Officer Ronni Hartvig on undertaking ‘business prioritisations’ as well as gaining a strategy and operations overview.

Updating the market, Jesper Svensson, CEO of Betsson Operations said, “Throughout his career, Peter has shown that he can deliver highly user-centric products and is, therefore, a perfect match for Betsson. With fewer layers in the organisation we know we can be more efficient, as we did with the successful merger of Marketing and Commercial a while back. At the end of the day, it’s all about efficient delivery of business driven initiatives. Holding the combined CPO/CTO role, Peter Frey will be able to balance capacity changes and ensure swift delivery of improvements to our customer experience.”
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Betsson overcomes Swedish adjustment period reporting Q1 regional gains

Stockholm-listed Betsson AB has declared a strong start to 2019 trading, as the company reports ‘strong regional growth’, offsetting adjustments within its home market of Sweden.

Publishing its Q1 2019 trading update (period ending 31 March), Betsson records a 10% group revenue increase to SEK 1,330.6 million (Q12018: SEK 1,210m), detailing growth across its casino (+10%) and sportsbook (+13%) verticals.

Updating the market, Betsson reports that slower Nordic growth (+1%), has been countered by robust growth reported across its Western Europe (+10%) and Central & Eastern Europe (+15%) divisions.

Betsson continued to show revenue growth and solid results while at the same time facing challenges in Sweden and the Netherlands” commented Pontus Lindwall President and CEO Betsson AB

Betsson revenue growth has been supported by ‘efficiencies gained from the firm’s ‘back-on-track’ programme, reporting a 22% increase in EBITDA to SEK 346 million (Q12018: SEK 282m).

The firm maintains its positive earnings momentum, despite detailing a 36% increase in betting duties to SEK 422 million (32% of group revenues), attributed to servicing the re-regulated Swedish marketplace.

Mirroring its competitors, Swedish adjustments would dominate Betsson AB’s trading update, with CEO Pontus Lindwall issuing the following statement;

“We have now seen the effects from the new Swedish gaming law for a full quarter. Even though we are reporting a solid first quarter, we see that both revenue and operating profit was negatively impacted by the new regulation in Sweden. The market has experienced a challenging start, however, we believe it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions.”

During the first half of the first quarter, there were high costs for welcome bonuses to customers as well as a difference in the dynamics of customer behaviour. During the second half of the quarter, the situation stabilised, primarily regarding customer volumes and the number of new customers.

In addition, there are ongoing discussions regarding rules for marketing volumes and content in Sweden. Betsson still sees Sweden as an important market long-term, however, we now also see the advantage of having a geographical spread that enables scalability. As a result of changing market conditions in Sweden, we also see increased M&A activities”
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Betsson named as the Official European Betting Partner of Alfa Romeo Racing

Stockholm-listed Betsson AB has been named as the new exclusive Official European Betting Partner for Alfa Romeo Racing as part of a new multi-brand deal.

The new deal is set to cover a number of the Betsson Group brands, including Betsafe, Betsson and StarCasinò. The deal will see the operator’s branding shown on the Alfa Romeo Racing Car at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Jesper Svensson, CEO Betsson Group, praised the new sponsorship opportunity: “Betsson Group has a long history in racing, it’s part of our DNA and we are absolutely delighted to have progressed this deal to take our spot on the Formula One starting grid with Alfa Romeo Racing.

“We are hugely impressed with the team and can’t wait to be working with them. We wish Kimi, Antonio and the entire team all the very best for a successful 2019 and are looking forward to being involved in supporting the team to achieve huge success.”

As well as having their branding shown on the cars, Betsson Group brands will use the sponsorship to create exclusive and innovative content, while also offering fans “bespoke betting offers and money-can’t-buy experiences” in the world of racing.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG added: “Betsson compete in a playing field where you are constantly challenged, where the competition tries as hard as you do to win and to be the best in the world. That is very similar to what we’re trying to achieve at Alfa Romeo Racing.

“We are confident that we will have a successful collaboration which will support us in our mission of fighting for ambitious results in 2019.”
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Betsson Spain sponsors After Brunch Pride Party

Betsson AB’s Spanish online gambling property has partnered with Madrid-based live music, youth culture and entertainment group After Brunch, becoming a lead sponsor of the upcoming ‘After Brunch Pride Party’.

Hosted this Sunday 7 July, the After Brunch Pride Party is considered one of the major festive events of Madrid Pride, taking place at the City’s ‘Ventas Bull Ring’ (capacity 23,000) in the district of Salamanca.

The After Brunch Pride Party will be headlined by Detroit ‘deep house legend’ Carl Craig, and German ‘techno queen’ Magdalena Solomun (Magdalena), a figurehead of the Berlin and Hamburg rave scenes.

In its update, marketing details that the sponsorship forms part of the brand’s commitment to ‘becoming the benchmark for those looking for a different type of play’.

Stockholm-listed Betsson AB launched its first Spanish market property in February 2018, led by Andrea Rossi, Group Managing Director, for Southern Europe and LATAM regions.

“This open-air festival symbolizes fun, plurality, quality and innovation, values ​​with which Betsson is 100% identified. For this reason, we back of being actively present at Pride Madrid for this sublime party, where he will have a VIP box and draw lots of tickets for users registered on his website details of its sponsorship of After Brunch.

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Betsson H1 results disrupted by tough regulatory dynamics

Nordic market adjustments and Dutch declines have seen Betsson AB governance report a 5% year-on-year revenue decline for Q2 2019 trading.

Publishing its H1 2019 interim update, Stockholm-listed Betsson AB reports a tough Q2 April-to-June trading period, in which group revenues declined 5% to SEK 1.27 billion (Q2 2018: SEK 1.3bn).

Betsson governance details a ‘period of operational adjustments’, in which the company has had to accommodate for new regulatory enforcements across the markets of Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.

In its home market of Sweden, Betsson has seen one of its licences revoked by regulator Spelinspektionen, while the group has seen further Nordic woes as Norwegian regulator Lottstift implements strict ‘payment blocking orders’ on ‘unlicensed’ gambling operators.

As reported during Q1 2019 trading, Betsson governance has undertaken significant adjustments related to its Dutch market activities, seeking to meet KSA provisional regulatory requirements in order to obtain its future Netherlands regulated online gambling license.

These tough regulatory dynamics see Betsson report all-around corporate declines across its topline metrics, as the Stockholm online gambling group declares a period EBITDA of SEK 287 million (Q2 2018: SEK 379m), leading to a period operating income decline of SEK 196 million (Q2 2018: SEK 300m).

Year-to-date, Betsson maintains a stable revenue performance at SEK 2.6 billion (YTD2018: SEK 2.5bn), however group-wide adjustments see its YTD operating EBIT reduced to SEK 452 million, representing a 12% decline on 2018’s SEK 512 million.

Updating investors, Betsson AB Chief Executive Pontus Lindwall underlined confidence in the group’s long-term operating strategy to overcome its current individual market challenges.

Betsson’s long-term strategy and focus is clear and is not affected by temporary downturns in individual markets,” he said. “We have a good financial position and a high degree of proprietary technology, which make us strongly positioned in the industry.

“I am confident in my view of Betsson’s capacity and in our strategic opportunities to pursue long-term profitable business with growth and good margins in regulated markets. We also have a geographical spread that compensates for temporary downturns in individual markets.”
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Betsson secures SEK 1bn bond placement

Declaring an ‘oversubscribed placement’, Stockholm-listed Betsson AB has secured its target SEK €1 billion (€90 million) senior secured bond transaction.

This September, Betsson governance moved to sanction a minimum SEK 500 million (€47 million) bond placement, led by Scandinavian investment banks Nordea and Swedbank acting as joint book-runners.

The bonds, placed under a framework of SEK2.5bn, have a tenor of three years and will mature on 26 September, 2022.

As previously communicated, funds from the transaction will be utilised to support Betsson’s ongoing expansion initiatives.

“There has been a strong interest from a broad range of investors in the issue, which was heavily oversubscribed” said Martin Öhman, CFO at Betsson AB.

“We are also happy to see that the interest from large institutional investors throughout the Nordics has been much stronger than back in 2016 when issuing our first bond. It shows that we have the market’s support in our long-term strategy.”
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Tax burden weighs heavy on Betsson Q3 trading

Stockholm-listed Betsson AB reports a further trading quarter of corporate adjustments, as the online gambling group continues to experience multiple challenges across its core operating markets.

Publishing its Q3 2019 trading update (period ending 30 September), Betsson continues to report ‘weak trends’ across Sweden and the Netherlands, recording an 11% decline in group revenues to SEK 1,275 million (Q3 2018: SEK 1,426m).

Competing against a tough comparative period featuring World Cup 2018 trading, Betsson reports a 12% decline in casino revenues to SEK 942 (Q3 2018: SEK 1,066m), while sportsbook revenues declined 7% to SEK 314 million (Q3 2018: SEK 338m).

A breakdown of performance sees Betsson governance report that its regulated market taxed income increased by 41% during the trading period to SEK 457 million (Q3 2018: SEK 322m) – equivalent to 36% of group revenues.

“Like the previous quarter, the third quarter has continued to pose challenges for us, as well as for several other companies in the gaming industry,” said Betsson Group CEO Pontus Lindwall. “We expect this development to continue and also affect the Swedish market to a greater extent than we have seen so far after the Swedish re-regulation.

“The regulated markets now also face major challenges regarding the degree of channelisation, which is one of the most important prerequisites for high consumer protection.”

Impacts on group revenue channels would see Betsson operate at an EBIT margin of 16.7% (24%), as the Stockholm enterprise records a 28% decline in EBITDA to SEK 305 million (Q3 2018:423m).

Countering its challenges, Betsson reduced operating expenses to SEK 618 million (Q3 2018: SEK 669m), as governance highlights ‘continuous work on efficiencies’ and marketing expenses scaled back to SEK 213 million (Q3 2018: SEK 246m).

Updating investors, Lindwall noted market realities but also stressed Betsson’s strength in its geographical range and its intention to grow through potential acquisitions.

“Both revenue and operating profit are affected when significant markets develop negatively at the same time,” he added. “Therefore, our geographical spread is valuable, and we see positive development in several of Betsson’s other markets, both locally regulated and non-locally regulated. We have seen favourable trends in other Western European countries but also in Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA).”
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Betsson moves on full CSR transparency by launching

Betsson AB has launched, a new information portal detailing full transparency on the firm’s social responsibility directives and sustainability initiatives. will allow the public to access information and maintain progress on Betsson’s ongoing social commitments, partnerships, action plans and corporate social responsibility directives.

Launching a key platform, Jesper Svensson, CEO for Betsson Operations, said: “At Betsson, we have always been involved in and contributed to the societies where we are located.

“Recently we have taken this engagement to the next level – some 10 months ago, we have launched a new global Local Community Engagement strategy which saw the creation of location-based committees in all our offices across the globe. The new site is a result of this concerted effort.”

Betsson’s CSR website is split into three core sections:

‘Responsible Gambling’ – sees Betsson provide information on its safer gambling inventory helping identify vulnerable players
‘Local Community Engagement’ – provides information and updates on Betsson’s community-led social directives which have been undertaken in Malta, Sweden, Estonia, Georgia, and Hungary
‘Partnerships’ – details Betsson AB’s corporate mandate of investing in sports through partnership, with the aim of improving standards and community access to sports resources.
Svensson added: “We have always been at the forefront of responsible gambling and corporate social responsibility, with this new website we are offering complete transparency in terms of social impact initiatives that we’re part of and hope that by doing so, others will follow suite.”
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Betsson states Brazilian intent by acquiring 75% stake in Suaposta racing

Stockholm-listed Betsson AB has acquired a 75% majority shareholding in Brazilian racing operator Suaposta, securing an early foothold in Brazil ahead of an anticipated regulated market opening.

Betsson management has confirmed its investment in Suaposta, but as yet has chosen not to disclose any deal terms or conditions.

Operating in partnership with Porto Alegre’s ‘Rio Grande do Sul Jockey Club’, Suaposta offers online wagering services on Brazilian racing authorised by Brazil’s Ministry Agriculture and Livestock.

The racing platform is former LatAm property of Bolsa Madrid gambling group Codere SA, which was acquired by the management team of André Gelfi and Fernando Corrêa in 2018.

Industry news source Games Magazine Brazil has confirmed that Gelfi and Corrêa will maintain leadership of Suaposta, retaining a 25% stake in Betsson’s new asset.

September trading saw Betsson governance sanction a secured private bond placement raising €90 million in working capital from institutional investors to support ‘ongoing expansion initiatives’.

Weighed down by increased European tax burdens, Q3 trading saw Betsson Group Chief Executive Pontus Lindwall emphasise broadening the firm’s ‘geographical spread’ across new unsaturated regions.

At present, industry leadership awaits the publication of the Brazilian government’s official decree on regulated fixed-odds betting services.

The government’s draft consultation published in September saw the government propose a 1% turnover tax on wagering services. Nevertheless, market updates report that taxation criteria may further be adjusted.

Industry analysts have underlined that the Brazilian government may enforce ‘monthly operating fees’ on sports wagering services on top of a fixed R$3m (£600,000) for a nine-year licence concession.

Further regulatory concerns have been raised by Brazilian professional sports bodies with regards to the lack of integrity provisions and protections detailed by the government’s draft frameworks.
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Betsson to appeal ‘hefty’ Spelinspektionen penalty

Stockholm-listed Betsson AB will appeal its SEK20m (€2m) penalty issued by Spelinspektionen for the sale of games through ‘unregistered agents’ and the use of unauthorised bonus incentives.

Responding to the penalty notice, Betsson emphasised that ‘the warning, the sanction and the hefty sanction fee come as a surprise’, and will be appealed.

The group commented in a media release: “The decision will be appealed on both accounts since Betsson AB does not agree with the view that Betsson Nordic Ltd has not complied with the Swedish Gambling Act.

Betsson AB is of the view that the vouchers have been offered in line with the applicable law and that Betsson Nordic Ltd has not offered any commercial incentives or benefits connected to the Betsson Mastercard”.

Spelinspektionen alleged that Betsson was allowing customers to fund their accounts through retail vouchers, while a Betsson-branded Mastercard was reportedly offering players illegal bonuses.

Betsson argued that the vouchers were launched through a deal with Convenience Card, which specialises in gift and prepaid cards, a common function for highstreet retailers.

Betsson emphasised that the Mastercard was developed to enhance the payment process for players, and had received the approval from Sweden’s financial regulator Finansinspektionen.

The card was not intended to provide bonus offers for players, with Betsson reiterating that it had previously prevented the card from being used for some promotions due to igaming laws on bonus offers and player incentives.
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Betsson sees strong prospects in disrupted Kenya

Betsson AB has confirmed its intention to enter the Kenyan sports betting marketplace after starting a joint venture with Bet High Ltd.

Yesterday, Kenyan media reported that Betsson’s flagship sportsbook subsidiary Betsafe had replaced blacklisted SportPesa as shirt sponsor of KPL football clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

Betsafe is yet to register its Kenya Betting Control Board (BCL😎 licence. However, Betsson has since confirmed that it will launch Betsafe Kenya through fully owned subsidiary Bet High, who will manage Betsafe’s betting and casino licensing requirements.

Betsson has sanctioned Bet High to trade in Kenya under the domain of ‘Betsafe Ventures’, with the joint-venture partner tasked with managing and servicing all day-to-day business functions of Betsafe Kenya including management, local marketing, operations and customer support.

The new venture will be fully financed by Betsson, who will provide Bet High with its technology platforms and further technical support to operate the brand.

Betsafe’s sponsorship of Nairobi football clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards was well received by local media, as Kenyan football has struggled financially since the market withdrawal of former KPL title sponsor Sportpesa.

A disruptive 2019 saw the Uhuru Kenyatta government suspend Kenya’s entire sports betting marketplace, blacklisting 27 licensed sportsbooks with regards to contested tax disputes with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

The KRA instructed all national licensed banks and telecoms to terminate payment and mobile M-PESA wallet services for betting firms.

Following this move, former market leader SportPesa announced its complete withdrawal from the market in August 2019, decimating KPL football finances.

Prior to its withdrawal, SportPesa had declared Kenyan net revenues of €200 million operating a business with 450 staff – numbers which support BetSafe’s confidence in the Kenyan market’s revenue prospects.
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Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom

Betsson AB has published its 2020 interim results stating that it has ‘delivered all-time highs in revenues under the most challenging conditions’.

The Stockholm-listed online gambling group praised its swift actions undertaken during March, which allowed the company to continue to ‘execute the strategic priorities’ as part of its ongoing transformation programme.

Trading under unprecedented circumstances, Betsson recorded Q2 2020 group revenues of SEK 1.532bn (€150m), an increase of 20% on corresponding Q1 2019’s SEK 1,277bn (€123m).

Q2 trading saw Betsson’s online casino properties generate 84% of group revenues, recording a 40% increase to SEK 1.286 bn (Q1 2019: SEK 900m). Casino growth helped Betsson overcome a 34% decline in Q2 sportsbook revenues to SEK 226m (Q1 2019: SEK 341m)

“We responded quickly and decisively to make changes in our offer, and I am particularly pleased to see the strong performance in casino,” said Pontus Lindwall President and CEO Betsson AB

“Sports betting revenues continued to be impacted in the second quarter by the pandemic as expected, however benefited from the progressive return of football and other sporting events at the end of the quarter. Our business has remained financially robust and resilient to this impact, being both diversified and flexible.”

Maintaining Q2 revenue growth, Betsson saw its year-to-date operating income increase to SEK 478m (€46m), a 6% rise on H1 2019’s SEK 452m (€42m).

Breaking down its Q2 expenses, Betsson underlined a ‘high costs of services’ of SEK 574m (€55m) which was primarily attributed to operating its casino division as its sole vertical during pandemic trading.

Closing H1 trading, Betsson declared a YTD net income of SEK 422m (€40m), up 5% on 2019’s SEK 400m.

The firm stated that strong revenue momentum has carried into Q3 2020, as Betsson recorded 35% higher daily average revenues.

Despite its robust performance, Betsson management underlined its caution due to changing regulatory dynamics witnessed across key markets.

Beginning H2 trading, Betsson will have to counter increased taxes in Denmark, a ban of payment services providers in Norway and a temporary market suspension of online gambling across Latvia.

Betsson governance highlighted its home market of Sweden as its biggest operating concern, as the government has implemented temporary safeguards and consumer protections on online casino.

From July to end of 2020 trading, the Swedish government will impose a deposit limit of SEK 5,000 per week and a SEK 100 bonus limit as new customer protection measures.

Pontus Lindwall reflected on upcoming challenges: “During this pandemic, governments have been modelling a range of scenarios of potential impact, several governments took immediate temporary actions on our industry such as either suspending gambling both offline and online or implementing restrictions on marketing.

“In the beginning of the third quarter, when most countries had removed Corona-related restrictions, Sweden sadly enough implemented restrictions on online casino, without empirical evidence. This measure will, unfortunately, push even more consumers to play outside of the Swedish regulation.

“The immediate outlook is naturally uncertain, however, Betsson is in good shape and we are in it for the long term. Our proprietary technology is a strategic advantage, our diversification in markets, verticals and brands makes us resilient to market fluctuations and our financials are rock solid. This makes me optimistic about the prospects for Betsson.”
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Betsson teams up with Banach for football Flash Markets launch

Betsson Group has strengthened its portfolio of football products after securing a new partnership with sports betting solutions provider Banach Technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Betsson has agreed to roll out Banach’s ‘formidable squad of Match and Player Flash Markets’, allowing punters to ‘bet on rapid-cycling selections in any match’.

The partitioned segments will cover binary outcomes around propositions – such as what will occur in the next minute of a game – to player performance in a stipulated five-minute timeframe.

Joakim Thor, Product Director for Sports at Betsson Group, added: “Banach is allowing us to further expand our betting offering and introduce an additional layer of entertainment in our product. With Player Props, customers can bet on their favourite players in different forms. Whilst, with Flash Markets, we’re adding even more pulse to live betting and allowing customers to bet on different actions in the game.

“Over the past couple of years, we have invested heavily in our sportsbook and have made tremendous progress and improvements. With Banach’s technology, we are continuing on this journey of further strengthening our offering and football product.”

In addition, Betsson has confirmed that it will launch Banach’s football player-proposition markets, which track individual player performance across a series of criteria in any given game. It is expected that the ‘localised props-portfolio’ will increase engagement across both pre-match and in-play markets.

Banach also revealed that it plans to tailor its player-props offering to US sports, by targeting pre-match and in-play props products for the NFL and NBA.

Mark Hughes, CEO of Banach, said: “As top-class live sport continues to return from the sidelines, we’re delighted to team up with Betsson to improve player engagement with a new series of props markets that can be effortlessly localised to any given region or sport.

“Banach’s trademark innovation is helping its global partners differentiate themselves in a variety of markets where domestic operators need localised content to stand out in a homogenous space and speak to personalised modern trends in engagement around specific moments or individual players, especially in-play.”
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