Betsson Group looks to B2C to springboard B2B sportsbook growth in US and Canada
Malta-headquartered operator reveals “significant focus” on American market ahead of Colorado spring launch
Betsson Group will use its forthcoming B2C sportsbook launch in Colorado to serve as a grounding for the firm to begin offering B2B sportsbook services to US and Canadian clients.
In its Q4 2021 financial results, the Malta-headquartered firm revealed its debut US sportsbook offering was proceeding “according to plan” and should launch in the Centennial State in Q1 2022.
Over the preceding quarter, Betsson has passed several key milestones in this process, including the testing and assessment of the B2C product from an objective standpoint, as well as obtaining the GLI33 (Gaming Labs International) certification required to operate in Colorado.
It is understood Betsson has also integrated the US sportsbook into the Strive Gaming platform and has completed recruitment of staff in key positions. This includes the recruitment of US-only managing director of B2C and an account director for B2B sportsbook operations.
More than 120 employees are working exclusively on the US sportsbook rollout process.
In the firm’s annual report, Betsson AB CEO Pontus Lindwall suggested a “significant focus” of the group’s operational assets during Q1 would be concentrated exclusively on the US launch.
However, Lindwall poured cold water on any notion that Betsson would indulge in the giant marketing spend used by some of the top-tier operators in the sportsbook market, as seen in New York as part of its debut in the US.
Speaking on the firm’s Q4 investor call, Lindwall said: “I think the big investment for the US market has already happened. It’s going into the product development and the setting up of the business.
“We’re starting with a totally new product in a totally new market, so we will not put a lot of money into promoting it and so it will not have any big impact on the cost side on the marketing.
“Initially we want to start off slowly and we want to build up over time,” Lindwall added.
Betsson has partnered with the Dostal Alley Casino, a land-based casino operating out of Central City, Colorado, with the company keen to serve as a showcase to entice other potential B2B US clients to engage the firm’s services.
When pressed by investors on the types of operators which could form its B2B US base, Lindwall explained: “We’re looking for different kinds of clients, but obviously clients that have high ambitions and need a high-quality sportsbook, as well as those that want to stand out in the US market.”
Elaborating on the firm’s B2B ambitions in the US market, Lindwall continued: “Innovation is very important to us as a business.
“Running your own sportsbook is not something which is new to us, we have been doing that for 20 years and we can see the rationale for that. At the same time, we know that it’s a highly complex business that takes time to build up and not everybody can do that.
“As we can see in Europe, and a lot of other markets, there’s also a need for data to be supplied because not every operator can operate or wants to operate their own sportsbook, so we still see great business opportunities for B2B sportsbooks in the future,” Lindwall added.
Parallel to the investment in the US, preparations are underway in the Canadian market with the goal of launching Betsafe in the province of Ontario and to proffer the Betsson sportsbook as a part of the B2B offering.
However, Lindwall suggested that the Betsafe brand would not be among those to launch when the Ontarian market goes live on April 4, with the firm yet to submit its license application to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.