BtoBet’s Chief Operating Officer, Dima Reiderman, shares in an interview with Yogonet an overall year-end assessment of the gambling industry recovery as well as advances made in the last year, such as the regularization of the Dutch market, as well as the advancements regarding gambling legalization in Brazil. He further explains that they anticipate operators will continue to face mounting regulatory challenges in 2022, as many national parliaments are proposing regulations that would further limit the way the industry markets itself. He calls on the industry to work with regulators to ensure that over-regulation does not stifle investment.
What would be your year-end assessment for BtoBet, especially regarding the betting industry's recovery, emerging markets, and other key developments in your business areas?
Measures that were put in place during 2020 to limit the spread of the pandemic left operators facing a great challenge due to a significant drop in revenue and income. Unsurprisingly it is the sports betting industry that has had to bear mostly the brunt of the pandemic, with the cancellation of practically all sporting events heavily impacting what they could offer to their players. Yet, 2021 saw the industry recoil back mainly aided by the resumption of sporting events, and this mirrored the expectancy that analysts and industry insiders had relative to the industry’s quick recovery.
However, the past 12 months were not all about recovery but also about new opportunities. The Dutch market opened up for business, and important steps were made in Brazil as the lower house approved the request for urgency regarding the legislation that will effectively legalize sports betting, casino, and bingo games in the country.
At the same time, notwithstanding the impact that the Covid pandemic has had on the betting industry, this has been a very positive year for BtoBet. We set out the year with the primary aim of consolidating our presence in those markets which currently see us as leaders, namely Latin America and Africa, whilst at the same time expanding our presence in the mature European market. I must say that from these aspects we have ticked all the boxes, and even exceeded our initially set targets.
We have established a very strong presence in the UK, we have entered the Polish market, whilst at the same time, we have also entered the Brazilian market with our collaboration with FanDuel.
Where will BtoBet's focus be in 2022 and what new milestones should we expect the company to achieve? Which priorities, goals, and plans for next year could you anticipate?
I foresee that the sports betting vertical will maintain its momentum into 2022, mainly due to more countries embracing regulatory reforms. Having said this, our commitment to commercial expansion in new markets through new partnerships remains as strong as ever for BtoBet. European expansion remains high on our agenda, especially in light of the newly regulated opportunities the continent presents.
The same priority applies also to other markets, especially considering Brazil’s imminent regulatory reform, which could well start a ripple effect in neighboring countries that are still lagging from a legislative point of view.
The US is also expected to witness a heightened growth in its sports betting industry as more state governments are approving the rollout of sports betting in their state. And the market is of great appeal to BtoBet.
What are your outlooks, expectations for 2022, and what do you think will be the new challenges, both for the betting industry and BtoBet in particular? What will be the main issues driving the agenda?
2022 looks to be a very promising and exciting year for BtoBet, as we seek to continue to develop our sportsbook platform with the aim of delivering our partners with the best sports betting product and services possible.
At the same time, we do anticipate that operators will continue to face mounting regulatory challenges as many national parliaments are at the very least proposing regulations that would further limit the way the industry markets itself. We have already witnessed to a certain extent what the introduction of limits on stakes in certain markets has had, and it does seem that challenges for operators will keep on piling in Europe. From this context, it is a must for the industry to work with regulators to ensure that over-regulation does not stifle investment.
However just as I mentioned before, the industry does present a series of opportunities. We have already witnessed scenarios where global betting powerhouses are looking beyond the European threshold and seeking to expand into newer contexts such as Latin America and the US. And I do believe that this shift will be more accentuated in the coming months.