Soft2Bet's successful expansion in the Nordics has seen the company overcome numerous challenges as it seeks to continue reinforcing its commanding position in Europe. In a new interview with Betxpert, the company's Head of Country Teams, Peter Noer addresses Soft2Bet's recent entry into the Danish market, discussing its approach to adapting its products to the market's requirements.
Why has Betinia decided to enter the Danish market?
We have had our eyes set on Denmark as a potential market to expand into for some time now, particularly as we continue to grow our presence in the Nordics. When we launched our brand, Betinia in Sweden last year, we saw a big impact on our player base in the market, which quickly overtook our other two existing brands YoyoCasino and Campobet there.
In general, the Danish market continues to grow in the online casino and sports betting verticals so we believe there is an opportunity to go in and secure a market share, slowly expanding our activity and footprint in the region.
The Danish market is tough; how does Betinia plan on becoming a success in DK? - What are your ambitions, goals and strategy?
It is certainly true that this particular region is not an easy one to crack. In Denmark there is an established base consisting of a few operators that sit on a big share of the market, with large marketing budgets that have been active in the area for many years.
In order to challenge the competition, you need to be confident in your product and certain that you can offer something not only unique, but also that the brand can create a strong connection to the players. I believe we have done just that with our Betinia brand.
With the tax increase from 20 to 28% which was introduced in the beginning of 2020, the market conditions certainly did not make the case easier. In fact, it raised the barrier to entry for new operators in the space - perhaps an unintended consequence of the regulation change or at least I hope so. This, combined with the increased restrictions on marketing brings an added difficulty, especially for new entrants to gain a foothold and build a brand presence without overinvesting on marketing.
Our short term goal is to establish ourselves in Denmark. While you will not see massive advertising campaigns initially, we will gradually expand our activities. How long it will take to get to that point remains to be seen. Of course, our short to long term ambitions and investments into the market will largely depend on the regulatory developments.
There is a debate about gambling advertisements in DK, so what will be Betinia’s marketing approach to gain brand awareness?
We will take it step by step and slowly expand into more channels. So I doubt we will do massive billboards in the Copenhagen Metro or go full blast on TV anytime soon. So I’m quite confident it’s not because of us that the Danish public will get tired of advertisement from our industry. We will go with a different approach as such media investments typically take a long time to generate a return on investment.
This is also a necessary measure to be taken due to the uncertainties on the regulatory side of things. Our hope is that the politicians will protect the licence model where the market conditions are attractive to licensed operators. This will maintain a healthy competition that allows for new innovation, as well as giving players a good experience and attractive offers, so they do not go and explore operators “outside” the license system.
The law should be to protect players as best as possible and to not give competitive advantages to unlicensed operators by, for example, introducing a complete ban on marketing or promotional campaigns for licensed operators. That would, in my opinion, create a static market where new and innovative operators struggle to establish themselves. This will ultimately lead to more players exploring gambling opportunities “on the other side of the fence” - where there is no control and no safety nets in place such as ROFUS that allows you to exclude yourself across all operators.
How would you describe your results so far, since the dk launch?
We are definitely off to a very good start in the market, with an almost overwhelming number of players that have already created accounts and given us a try. We have also seen the first few big winners in both sports and casino. As an example, in January we had a player that won over 900.000 kr (approx. €120.000), which we paid out shortly after.
On the negative side, we have also seen a relative large number of players attempting to abuse our offers and promotions, as well as attempting tactics to take advantage of e.g. live bet delays. We were fully prepared for this though and have measures in place to spot and prevent such activity.
An unfortunate side effect of this has been that some of our processing of account verifications and mandatory checks in relation to withdrawals has been longer than we would have liked, when it comes to genuine players. This is some of the feedback that we have seen on public forums. We are working on speeding this up though, so that trusted players will have a faster and smoother process, whilst making sure that players that attempt to abuse offers or “find holes in the system” will not be successful.
How does Betinia stand out from other operators and what can you offer the Danish gamblers?
The main feature we offer that is completely unique to the Danish market is our loyalty programme which we have in place on Betinia. Simply written, this will create a more fun and engaging experience for players as they earn Betinia points through gameplay (e.g. placing sports bets). This will enable them to unlock the site’s sports arenas in different cities. This will then give even more rewards for players.
On top of that, we have one of the most user friendly registration flows as well as popular mobile payment solutions through MobilePay (coming soon with ApplePay).
When it comes to the sportsbook side of things, we have already added automated settlement rules such as early payout and bore draw for the major European leagues, and also for Danish Superliga. So if you have a bet on Superliga and your team goes 2 goals up, you will get paid out immediately. We will continue to make the product stand out for the local market and focus on enhanced odds and specials that appeal to Danish customers.
I have to ask about limits; what is your policy on limiting winning sportsbook players?
We want to offer a competitive product which is not possible if we adopt a policy where we automatically limit the winnings of sportsbook players. We have already had a lot of winners as mentioned - also on sports betting - who have gotten their winnings without issues. But of course, if we suspect a player to have illegitimate winnings, then we will reduce the maximum stakes, to make Betinia less appealing to this kind of activity.
Do you have in-house odds or odds provider?
We have official data from Betradar, Betgenius, IMG Arena, Oddin and Betbazar which provides our customers with a comprehensive offering on a wide range of sports. A small internal trading team also works with a partner to ensure our pricing is as accurate and competitive as possible.
What can the Danish players look forward to from Betinia?
I would say that players can look forward to a fresh take on the typical casino and sports betting experience, which is brought to them through our loyalty programme. Combined with a smooth registration flow, great payment options, a super strong games portfolio and odds selection with unique pricing. Finally, of course, a continuous flow of promotions and campaigns within the limitations of the Danish regulation.
We are always open for feedback and will do our best to continue to improve our product and services for our Danish players - hopefully they like what they get from us.