Betsson: A Case Study in iGaming Success
If you’ve spent much time following the European gaming market, you’re definitely familiar with Betsson and their family of gaming sites and products. (You’re also probably aware of the fact that they hold the Guinness World Record for largest online casino payout at €11,700,000!)
This huge, Swedish-based, publicly owned company is home to a large number of subsidiaries across the globe. In recent years, Betsson has expanded its range outside of the European market to include forays into Turkey and on to the exploding Asian-Pacific sector.
It’s a company that’s not afraid to take risks or move into new marketplaces. Here’s an in-depth look at what makes Betsson stand out in the gaming industry.
Betsson’s Corporate History
Betsson’s roots in gaming stretch back well before the dawn of iGaming to 1963 when Bill Lindwall and Rolf Lundström founded a small casino group called AB Restaurang Rouletter. In those early years, their operations were confined to southern and central Sweden.
By 1972 the small business had grown considerably, merged with AB Roulett Konsult & Spelautomater and changed their name to Cherry. This move allowed them to expand their operations throughout all of Sweden.
The following decades were a roller coaster of businesses successes and scares, mainly due to regulatory issues in various European markets.
In the late 1990′s, Cherry began exploring Internet options by buying into a small igaming company called Net Entertainment and in 2003 bought into Betsson.com, a UK sports betting site.
The double whammy of these two subsidiaries worked out very well. After a series of financial maneuvers, the companies were united under the Betsson name and Cherry Casino banner.
Variety is the Key
Betsson’s corporate story shows a brand that’s been tested and retested, but always seems to come out on top. One key to this success has been the firm’s willingness to adapt to new trends, without getting mired in dead technologies.
So it’s not surprising that today Betsson brand offers a huge selection of iGaming options; ranging from traditional card and table games to bingo and scratch cards; sports betting has always been their bread butter.
And it’s in Betsson’s sports betting products that we get a glimpse of how deep their offerings run. Punters on the Betsson sites can choose from hundreds of different events every day, all served up with the latest technology like in-play betting.
This wide range of gaming options allows their affiliate partners to cast a pretty wide net for players.
Betsson is a pretty huge operation, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the company runs its own affiliate operations under the Affiliate Lounge brand. Every month the company pays out millions in commissions to affiliate partners and is well regarded by watchdog groups like Gaming Affiliate Guide and, of course, CAP.
Affiliate Lounge is a well regarded player in the casino affiliate business and handles operations for all Betsson sites including those housed under Betsafe, Cherry Casino, Casino Euro and other company subsidiaries.
As the representative of such a large company, Affiliate Lounge is able to offer most of the premium features affiliate partners look for including:
- Lifetime revenue share.
- No negative carryovers.
- Ring fencing so that players from one site don’t impact the bigger revenue picture.
- A sliding revenue scale that ranges from 25% to 50%.
- Extensive promotional materials including banners.
CAP readers who sign up with Affiliate Lounge Programs can enjoy a 30% revenue share right away.
Spotlight on Betsafe
To get a better idea of the types of services offered in the Betsson portfolio, let’s take a closer look at their Betsafe brand.
Betsson acquired the Malta-based gaming company in May of 2011 for around $60 million. The two companies shared similar corporate values, as well as overlapping Nordic market share.
Betsafe is a one-stop iGaming shop with a variety of gambling options including:
- Sports betting
- Mobile betting
The site’s been around since 2006 and has almost half a million worldwide players hailing from a 100 countries across the planet. Betsafe is localized in Bulgarian, Danish, English, Finnish, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish. Players from Italy, the United States and Hong Kong are not legally allowed to play on Betsafe.
Overall, Betsafe has a pretty good reputation amongst players as a site that’s reliable with payout and fair play. A quick review of online sports book review sires like SBR turns up a few player complaints, but nothing that’s out of the ordinary.
Betsson by the Numbers
Betsson is a publicly owned company, so there’s plenty of information available about the company in their Quarterly Report. Here’s some interesting facts from the Q2 2012 Report.
- Their quarterly revenue $486 million a 44% increase over the previous year.
- Player deposits across the Betsson family were up 31% over the same period in 2012.
- Betsson’s overall player base was right around 5.4 million with 508,000 active players during that period.
- The company employs over 600 employees worldwide, about a third of them work at the company’s Malta headquarters.
- Mobile betting products are performing very well for Betsson and are expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future.
On the business front, Betsson’s moves into the newly regulated Danish market, as well as their Italian offering, Starcasino.it are all doing well.
Like all gaming companies, Betsson experiences regular highs and lows based on a variety of marketplace. Regardless of what their stock price is trading at on a day to day basis, it’s pretty clear that Betsson is one of those innovative gaming companies that’s going to continue to offer groundbreaking products while breaking into new markets.