Q&A: Pontus Lindwall on Betsson’s Q1 results and “damaging” regulation in Western Europe
Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall sits down with iGaming NEXT after the Stockholm-listed operator reported an 8% year-on-year rise in revenue to €170.2m for Q1 2022.
iGN: You don’t like to talk about competitors, but some operators pursuing a regulated market strategy experienced large revenue dips in Q1. Your revenue has risen, so does that support Betsson’s footprint in unregulated markets?
PL: We have a strategy to grow in both regulated markets and markets yet to be regulated. Our marketing mix is favourable in many ways, and I think we have proved that by the fact that we lost the Netherlands and our Dutch customers not very long ago and we are still back on higher revenues than we were before that.
iGN: You are enjoying a nice period of growth, but if you could highlight one regulatory concern on the horizon for investors, where would it be?
PL: I see different processes going on in several countries. But on a more general note, I think in the western part of Europe, some of the regulation is damaging the regulated industry and those companies within it and at the same time has strengthened the ones who operate outside of the regulation.
We are a little bit disappointed that the regulators don’t try to understand the market dynamics better, and by doing that, come to better conclusions, because you cannot just impose restriction after restriction and make it too hard for customers to use the service. By doing that, you will push the players outside of the regulated market.
iGN: We are seeing increased regulation in the UK, where Betsson withdrew all brands except for one. Was that decision justified when you look at how the market has developed?
PL: We have one casino brand there in Rizk. You see what is going on in the UK market unfortunately with a shrinking regulated part of the market and an increasing unregulated part. It is something that we don’t want to be a part of.
iGN: Now you have got the sportsbook off the ground in Colorado, what happens next from a B2B perspective? When will you sign your first client?
PL: The Betsson US sportsbook is a totally new product more or less. It is something we want to soft-launch, fine tune and make sure everything is in the right place. Once we are comfortable, we will start to do some more marketing. It is too early to speculate about clients as this time now will be used to start the proper sales on the product.