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Polish sports betting market sums up 2020: STS named the market leader

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Polish sports betting market sums up 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

For another year in a row, STS was the largest bookmaking company with a year-over-year increase in shares. Fortuna, the runner-up, was in the decline. The third-best, forBet, is on the rise, as reported by “Stowarzyszenie Graj Legalnie” (Association for the Elimination of Black Economy Betting in Poland ‘Bet legally’). Revenues of licensed operators, as well as the amount of taxes contributed by the sector, would be higher if it were not for companies operating in the grey zone which are estimated by the “Graj Legalnie” association to account for several dozen per cent of the market.

STS is the largest sports betting company in Poland. The company managed by Mateusz Juroszek already controls 45.8 per cent of the licensed part of the sector, compared to its 45.1 per cent at the end of 2019. The sports betting company has also recorded an increase in revenues, from PLN 3.081 bn to PLN 3.319 bn.

According to the estimates of the “Graj Legalnie” association, the second-best, Fortuna, has recorded a decrease in revenues from over PLN 2.1 bn to ca. PLN 2 bn. The company has also lost its market share, from 30.9 per cent to 27.8 per cent. The third one on the podium is forBET (6.6 per cent of the market vs 6 per cent in 2019).

Other legal sports betting businesses in the ranking are Betclic (4.2 per cent of the market vs 1.7 per cent YoY), LV Bet (2.7 per cent vs 3.5 per cent YoY), Betfan (2.6 per cent vs 1.6 per cent YoY), Totolotek (2.3 per cent vs 4.5 per cent YoY), Totallbet (2.2. per cent vs 1.6 per cent YoY) and eToto (2 per cent vs 2.2 per cent YoY). Other players control the remaining 3.7 per cent of the market.

The full list:

Sports betting company

Market share in 2020

Market share in 2019

STS

45.8 %

45,1%

Fortuna

27.8 %

30.9 %

forBet

6.6 %

6%

Betclic*

4.2 %

1.7 %

LV Bet

2.7 %

3.5 %

Betfan*

2.6 %

1.6 %

Totolotek

2.3 %

4.6 %

Totalbet

2.2 %

1.6 %

eToto

2 %

2.2 %

Other

3.7 %

2.9 %

*It should, however, be noted that Betfan and Betclic were not operating from the beginning of 2019, therefore their results are not fully reliable.

COMMENTARY: Katarzyna Mikołajczyk, President of the “Graj Legalnie” association

The year 2020 was very subversive for the sports betting industry. After a promising beginning, the second quarter brought the lockdown of global sport. The most flexible companies with a diversified portfolio and well-developed produce and technology were able to make up for the losses incurred during those months. The best example of this is the market leader – STS. The company, despite a decline in revenues in the second quarter, achieved at the end of 2020 a result better than in the previous 12 months.

The pandemic has also affected its local betting shops, most of which have been closed during the lockdown. After reopening, traffic at many of these locations did not return to pre-pandemic levels, and some customers moved to the online channel. Totolotek did not manage to cope in this difficult situation – it has recently announced the closing of all of its local betting shops. It was the leaders who made it.

Graj Legalnie

The mission of the Graj Legalnie association is to improve the situation of legal sports betting businesses in Poland. Its goal is to protect the sector from illegal and unfair competition. The organisation was founded in 2016 to support operators licensed by the Minister of Finance in their functioning in a complex legal and competitive environment. Challenges facing both the association and the Polish authorities include the grey economy accounting for several dozen per cent of the market and losses incurred by the state budget for unpaid taxes worth several billion zloty.

Moreover, the task of the association is to create a positive image of the sports betting industry, to shape and to disseminate the principles of ethics in business operations and share best practices, as well as information between its membrs. Since its foundation, the association has been focussed on providing reliable information and data concerning the Polish sports betting industry.

Central Europe

Navigating International Regulatory Landscapes: A Guide for Expanding iGaming Businesses

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Navigating International Regulatory Landscapes: A Guide for Expanding iGaming Businesses
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Boris Pashnev, CEO of Alpha Affiliates

Taking an iGaming business global opens up vast possibilities for expansion and progress. However, along with new markets and opportunities, comes the complex regulatory landscapes of different countries. To ensure a smooth and compliant expansion, businesses must familiarise themselves with international legal frameworks and understand regulatory considerations. Still, it is much easier said than done.

As a business working closely with iGaming brands, we at Alpha Affiliates have first hand experience expanding within these new regulatory landscapes. We have helped several iGaming operators and affiliates to grow their businesses and comply with the regulations in various jurisdictions. Moreover, in the last year, we have successfully expanded our own business into new geographical markets, including France, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Hungary. This expansion not only broadened our global reach but also ensured a more comprehensive and inclusive gaming experience for iGaming enthusiasts worldwide.

This is the hope for many aspiring iGaming operators looking to go global. So, how can businesses successfully navigate new regulations when expanding their business globally?

 

Make regulation your team’s number one priority

In the iGaming world, regulations must be the cornerstone of your business strategy to going global. You need to go in with the mindset that it isn’t just about compliance – it’s about building a sustainable, reputable business. Only with this mindset, can you successfully launch an iGaming business, and develop long-term trust and support from regulators and consumers alike.

By making regulation your foundation, you’re sure to be on track for success. Of course, for any CEO, this starts by looking to the regulatory experts, and putting together a dedicated compliance team who can manage and advise on the regulatory landscape in the region you are looking to expand into.

For instance, in the case of licensing, operators should seek assistance from their in-house legal departments who can ensure licensing application requirements to be met and the corporate structure to be set up properly. This way they can prevent making any mistakes when switching their operations to comply with the new guidelines and ensure that they set up a well equipped and responsible environment for their players.

By having a dedicated team focused on regulation, operators can confidently and consistently ensure their operations meet regulatory guidelines within new regions.

 

Remain flexible and embrace new frameworks

Regulation is always subject to review and change  – it’s a natural part of progress to ensure consumers, and businesses are better served and protected.

We saw this most recently with Curaçao’s new regulation known as the National Ordinance for Games of Chance, or LOK, which set out new requirements for anti-money laundering, fraud prevention and player protection. The LOK framework changes brought new change, and with that new considerations for iGaming operators to address. Operators had to reflect and adjust the ways in which they disclose certain information, ensure data protection, address anti-money laundering, privacy measures for gaming and monitoring tactics.

Alongside the regulatory changes, the licensing fees also increased, in order to foster a safer and more responsible environment. And the licensing process changed too. The Gaming Control Board (GCB) opened the new licensing portal on September 1st earlier last year, leaving iGaming companies with two options – to either apply for new licences and follow the regulations outlined in the LOK, or register as sublicensees.

This is a prime example of how quickly things can change, and the need to remain flexible and ready to adapt when expanding into different regions. To stay ahead, it’s important to conduct regular regulatory assessments, budget for potential increases in licensing fees and develop flexible systems that can adapt to new requirements.

Consider creating a regulatory roadmap for each market you’re entering and operating in, from the current requirements, anticipated changes, plus your strategy for addressing them.

 

Take responsibility: Prioritise player protection

Remember that any international authority or regulator will want to see that player protection is not only met, but prioritised. After all, responsible gaming isn’t just a regulatory requirement, it’s a business imperative.

Ensuring your operations develop comprehensive responsible gaming policies, including self-exclusion programmes, session time limits, and staff training in identifying and addressing problematic iGaming behaviours, will be key.

At Alpha Affiliates, we encourage users to act conscientiously by providing a safe and organised platform to advertise their offerings. We are committed to ensuring responsible gaming is upheld in our services globally and make sure to follow regulations, only expanding into regions in which iGaming is properly regulated.

It’s crucial to consider how you can improve your policies to better protect players – as this will be a number one concern for regulators internationally. We implement industry-standard measures for players who want to control their gambling habits. These include applying various limits on losses, deposits and bets. In addition, we make sure to display reminders for the amount of time spent in a casino and for players to take a step back to step away and cool off. I’d encourage other operators to do the same.

 

Be patient and carefully lay down the groundwork

Launching abroad successfully takes a well-thought-out and well-planned strategy. It also requires a lot of patience. “Getting your ducks in a row”, and laying down the groundwork will take time and intricate planning.

Starting the process early is important. When it comes to international expansion, regulation is a huge aspect that cannot be rushed. It can be all the difference in business success, and business failure. It requires rigorous due diligence to ensure all requirements are met, and all licensing documentation is ready.

By meticulously crafting and executing a regulation-first international expansion strategy, businesses can put themselves in the best possible footing for growth globally. Regulations are important across all sectors, but in the iGaming world where adhering to tight regulation is imperative, operators must make it the foundation of all business. The path to international expansion may be complex, but with the right approach, operators can capitalise on the exciting opportunities in new markets and drive remarkable growth.

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Central Europe

Superbet Enters into Partnership with Wisla Krakow

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Superbet has entered into a partnership with the legendary Polish football club – Wisła Kraków.

Wisła Kraków boasts a sizeable history as a thirteen-time Polish champion and commands a devoted fan base. The partnership is set to introduce an approach whereby fans can actively participate by registering an account with a dedicated fan code – an act that will contribute directly to the club’s academy.

Lukasz Seweryniak, General Manager of Superbet Poland, said: “We consider this partnership a key milestone for our brand and view it as a long-term commitment, with the agreement in place until at least 2027. We have no doubt that we are now sponsoring one of the most important clubs in Polish football, and we believe the Club will soon reclaim its rightful place. We want to be part of this journey and, together with the fans, write a new and fantastic chapter in our brand’s history.”

Jaroslaw Krolewski, president of Wisła Kraków SA, said: “We are delighted that Superbet is joining the sponsors of Wisła Kraków! It is tremendous support and motivation for our further development. Thanks to Superbet, we can set even more ambitious sports and development goals. I am particularly pleased that our business partner is a company with such a talented team of people. Together, it will be great.”

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Central Europe

NOVOMATIC is Austria’s Second Most Valuable Brand Company

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For the 21st time, the European Brand Institute has presented the most valuable and sustainable brand companies in Austria. The international gaming technology group with more than 25,300 employees worldwide and activities in more than 120 countries secured the top positions in both the EBI’s Brand Value and Sustainable Brand Ranking.

With a brand value increase by +8.7% to EUR 3.745 billion, NOVOMATIC took an excellent second place in the brand value study and also recorded the largest increase in value within one year among the country’s top 10. Once again this year, only Red Bull ranks ahead of the Lower Austrian global player.

Significant factors for the brand value assessment were not only the high level of innovation, but also the international expansion course, sales growth and the comprehensive corporate responsibility and ESG programme, which is confirmed by international ESG rating agencies. Against this background, NOVOMATIC was also able to impress in the Sustainable Brand Ranking, in which the company took third place for the first time. This ranking underlines NOVOMATIC’s contribution to sustainable economic development in Austria.

“The renewed top position in the Brand Value Ranking 2024 is confirmation of the long-term success of our global brand strategy, which has enabled us to sustainably consolidate our leading position on the international markets. The rise to third place in the Sustainable Brand Ranking is particularly pleasing and shows that we are also setting new standards in the area of social and ecological responsibility with our comprehensive ESG commitment,” said NOVOMATIC Executive Board Member Stefan Krenn.

The Austrian Brand Value Study, which is based on the annual “trend-TOP500 of Austria’s top-selling companies” and identifies those Austrian corporate brands with more than 45% of their shares in Austrian hands, evaluated a total of 180 Austrian brand companies from 16 sectors in 2024. The brand value is determined in accordance with the international standards ISO 10668 and ISO 2067.

The top rankings in the Austrian Brand Value Study and in the Sustainable Brand Ranking confirm NOVOMATIC’s position as one of Austria’s leading brand companies. The gaming technology group is thus once again setting a strong example for sustainable business practices.

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