Online gaming operator TonyBet recently announced its entrance to the Latvian market with a soccer-oriented product, which represented an investment of €1.5 million ($1.49 million). In an exclusive interview with Yogonet, Country Manager of the company in the country, Valters Rozmanis, spoke about this launch and provided details of the brand’s current and future plans.
Being a strictly regulated jurisdiction, which nowadays sees a healthy increase in players and turnover, the main drivers for the Latvian market are slot games, according to Rozmanis. However, he foresees a big impact of the FIFA World Cup in Q4.
“The Latvian licensed online betting and gaming market generated EUR 190 million of gross win in 2021, having grown at a three-year CAGR (2018-21) of 26%,” the Country Manager for the company noted.
According to a market analysis carried out by H2 Gambling Capital on the Latvian market, it is expected that it will have “a lower but steady level of growth, with the market forecast to achieve gross win of EUR 172 million in 2026, growing at a five-year CAGR (2021-26) of 10%,” the company executive pointed out.
With a strong product in this market, the company believes they have “the key to success in the long run,” and is sure to “beat current average standards,” in Rozmanis' words.
The company will focus on customer needs and demands, and adjust to those rapidly, “which can be more challenging to bigger players.” The Country Manager of TonyBet for Latvia assured the brand is doing “everything possible to make ourselves noticed here."
So much so, TonyBet has already established a local partnership with RFS - local football league champions and participants of UEFA Europa Conference League group stage. “As we are expanding our sports betting offer, we are also looking into other directions to expand our football presence in the market," Rozmanis pointed out.
The company’s expansion strategy, mainly focused on the Baltic States, Spain and Great Britain, is not aimed, in the executive’s words, at becoming a market leader in the markets where it currently operates, but to continue to broaden its reach across the region.
“Our aim is to add markets gradually and provide qualitative alternative products to the players,” Rozmanis assured. “We have filed applications for licenses in Ontario and the Netherlands, which will be in our focus after the successful application process with local regulators.”
With over 70 employees in its offices in Riga, Tallinn, Ceuta, Madrid, Malta and Gibraltar, and with plans to expand its team in the next two to three years, the company expects to “make the players’ journey more interesting and exciting,” mainly by adding colleagues involved in product development and customer support.
“Tonybet’s priority is currently to offer our customers a great selection and variety of gaming products. We are connecting new game providers on our sites on a daily basis offering more and more to our customers,” Rozmanis stated. “Focus is not only on the big guns in the industry, we aim to offer our players the largest possible selection of games from different game providers, also less known, smaller game developers."
Demand for classic slots is “consistently stable”, but the company has noticed that players are “eager to try out new and different products.”
“We all know the positive leap towards the growth of Megaways, bonus-buy and other feature slots in the past years, but one is worth highlighting – Crash games,” he pointed out, as they have seen unprecedented growth and game providers are “now determined to rapidly fill this demand by creating more and more Crash games offering.”
“Another trend worth mentioning is that a lot of new live casino providers are appearing, signaling a demand,” he said. “Existing Live Casinos are concentrating on Live Game Shows, perhaps due to Covid, players do enjoy the human interaction rather than it being an RNG table.”
“In the meantime, new game providers are trying to break out into the market offering customers new experiences playing against real robots or dealers in bikinis,” Rozmanis noted.