Following ‘another record-breaking quarter’ revealed in the group’s H1 Interim results, Betsson CEO, Pontus Lindwall, joined the iGaming Daily podcast to discuss the company’s recent performance.

Hosted by Craig Davies, CasinoBeats Editor, the podcast episode dived into the group’s recent acquisition movements, what regions the company is eyeing for expansion next and the impact that certain sponsorship has had on Betsson’s LatAm position. 

While Lindwall mentioned that the company has been following an operational strategy for around four years that looks to be “paying off”, Davies quizzed the CEO on Betsson’s decision to focus on the Belgian market, following its June acquisition of BetFirst and collaboration with Groupe Partouche

Lindwall explained: “We have been looking at the Belgian market for a very long time, obviously being outside of that market and it’s an interesting market. Once we came across BetFirst and started to look closer at it, we became even more interested and we really liked what we saw. The company is very skillful. They have a very good position within sports betting in the country. 

“Also, through the partnership that Betsson has with Group Patouche from France, we can support BetFirst with an A-plus licence, which will broaden their product offering. So it will give them an even better position to act from in the Belgian market going forward.”

Looking across the border into the Netherlands, Lindwall was then probed on the operator’s difficult decision to remove itself from the Dutch licensing process. Although Lindwall confirmed the group had not shut the Netherlands out completely, it was suggested that Betsson was keen to take its focus elsewhere. 

“We have been out of the Dutch market for some time now since we shut down our operations,” stated Lindwall. “We have proven that we managed to increase revenues and profits strongly without the Netherlands market. 

“This doesn’t mean that we don’t like the Netherlands market, we would like to be there, but we’ve been in some kind of licensing process for more than a year now. We just had to move those resources to other projects which are more appealing right now.”

Another topic of Betsson’s recent activity came from the firm’s Argentinian sponsorship deal formed with one of Latin America’s biggest football institutions, Boca Juniors, which was heavily praised in the H1 report. 

While the deal was only formed towards the end of last month, Lindwall detailed that the firm can “already see the effects” of becoming the side’s main sponsor. 

Lindwall continued: “Boca Juniors is a massive club, not just in Argentina, it’s all over Latin America and the world, I would say. And it’s the club with the most supporters in Argentina, so we have got great exposure already, and we’re already seeing the impact of this also on our KPIs. 

“But I think this also shows our commitment towards the whole region and the Argentinian market. We believe that, over time, Latin America will be a great growth area for our business and it’s natural for us to do this type of investment into the region when we believe so much in the potential over there.”

Staying on the continent, Davies wondered whether there were any other areas of focus for Betsson to expand within Latin America, and Lindwall was quick to provide suggestions. 

He commented: “I think one market that is very relevant for us is Peru, where we are in a strong position and they are also moving towards a local regulation. There’s a lot of things happening within that market. And, I think a lot of countries are following through on what both Colombia and Argentina have been doing relatively recently, when they have been setting up a local licensing system. 

“Colombia is also important for us, it’s where we have our regional hub. We have built up an office and strong local presence there. But we are pretty much looking into every single country in the region and I think it’s important to acknowledge that those countries are very different. They definitely are. 

“Although the majority of the countries speak Spanish, when it comes to product offering, payment solutions and so forth, there’s a great difference over there. I think if you take the region overall, it represents a really good future opportunity for us.”

Before the conversation drew to a close, Lindwall was asked whether the company had any further M&A plans for the future, due to its recent activity in Belgium. 

Lindwall said: “Yes. I mean, we don’t do deals like this one every week, but M&A is a part of our growth strategy. We are permanently looking for M&A opportunities and being lucky to be such a profitable company with a strong balance sheet, we have the ability to acquire more companies even after this.”

To listen to the full interview, as well as an in depth discussion around Betsson’s Interim results, click here to be directed to the iGaming Daily podcast.