Today we also sat down with Athanasios-Thanos Marinos – MD Greece at Betsson Groupand talked about the Greek gambling industry.
Betsson has been active in the Greek market for 12 months now. Has the market moved in line with expectations?
We launched Betsson in Greece on June 11, 2021, and since then we have gained incredible market traction. This is because we have taken the great experience we have gained in other jurisdictions and used it to deliver a superior gaming experience in Greece. This includes providing players with access to a wide range of casino games and an engaging sports betting product, backed by award-winning customer support. This has allowed us to gain a significant share of the market in a short period of time and is something we will now build on as we continue to improve the product and the experience we offer players in Greece, and the market continues to mature. and grow.
What drew Betsson to Greece in the first place?
Greece is one of the biggest markets in Europe, so it was a natural step for Betsson to apply for a license from the Hellenic Gaming Commission when it moved to a regulated model in 2021. Not only to get this licence, but being the first operator was a moment of great pride for us and testifies to our position as a major player in the regulated markets. Today, we hold licenses in 19 jurisdictions around the world with an ambitious strategy to enter even more regulated markets in the months and years to come.
What are the main challenges encountered when entering a newly regulated market? How are these challenges overcome?
There are always many challenges when entering new markets and that is why it is extremely important to do thorough research before applying for a license. Operators need to understand what players are looking for from an online casino and/or sports betting site and then determine whether or not they are able to offer it while fully complying with applicable regulations. This research also helps with localization and understanding what it will take to not only compete, but stand out from other brands in the market.
Understanding the regulations is also essential. This is the only way to ensure that the licensing process is smooth and transparent, and that time is not wasted back and forth with the regulator on issues that can be avoided by following just the rules in place. It must be said that the Hellenic Gaming Commission was incredibly professional in this regard and went to great lengths to support operators throughout the process while ensuring that their standards were met and players were protected.
Of course, we had to make sure we had the resources and infrastructure to overcome all the challenges we faced – from regulation to tax to compliance – in order to get our Greek license and successfully enter. on the market.
The market is growing rapidly. What is driving this growth and what role does Betsson play in it?
The market is growing incredibly rapidly, and we expect this to continue for several years to come. This will be driven by more players becoming aware that online sports betting and casinos are legal and regulated, and available to them. This will see many consumers switch from gaming on land based venues to playing on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. We plan to lead this growth by continuing to provide a superior experience for our players.
What player trends are emerging? How do these preferences compare to other regulated markets in Europe?
Due to the pandemic and the lack of sporting events, we have seen an increase in online casino games as well as the popularity of virtual games. While the return of sports has seen many players turn back the clock, virtual and in-play games are still incredibly popular in sportsbooks and casinos. Additionally, mobile is the dominant gaming channel, and we are capturing a huge share of the mobile market in Greece and across Europe through the native Betsson mobile app which has won multiple industry awards.
Is the live casino popular with players? If so, what makes it so popular?
Live casino is actually one of the most successful verticals in Greece, both for Betsson and for the market at large. That’s why we’ve partnered with innovative live dealer providers who continue to release new games and features that ensure our players have the most engaging and entertaining live experience with Betsson. In terms of what makes it so popular is the combination of the exciting gameplay, the authentic casino environment and the interaction with the dealer and other players.
How did you localize your brands for the Greek market?
Location is absolutely key in Greece. We compete with retail brands that have been in the market for over a decade and know exactly what gamers are looking for. For Betsson, we firmly believe that a one-size-fits-all approach is a thing of the past and that’s why we see localization as an ongoing task, always looking for new ways to deliver a more personalized player experience. .
Of course, gaining notoriety and engaging with players is just as important. To do this, we have deployed a number of marketing initiatives. This includes sponsorship of SuperLeague2, which has been renamed Betsson SuperLeague2. The aim here was to be present on all 32 football grounds in Greece rather than just supporting one or two of the big teams.
Other sponsorship deals made include Rally Acropolis WRC and the International Cycling Tour of Greece. These deals around high-profile sporting events allow us to generate both local and international brand awareness, so they deliver tremendous value.
What will the Greek market look like in 12 months?
It will look a lot more competitive, that’s for sure. We expect to see more traders entering the market over the next 12 months, which will undoubtedly lead to some level of consolidation. The market itself will grow and evolve and we expect the Hellenic Gaming Commission to roll out several important initiatives that will help the land sector to grow and become more involved in the online market.
Is Betsson committed to Greece for the long term? What projects do you have for the market?
Betsson is here to stay and we have high expectations for the Greek market. We are a challenger brand right now but very soon, with hard work and commitment, we plan to become one of the best brands in the country. We’ve even opened a tech hub in Athens and have a number of Betssonites working in Greece to make sure we really understand the market and what gamers are looking for. There’s no better way to do this than with boots on the ground.