Dominik Beier, Group CEO of DACH’s legacy sportsbook Interwetten spoke to SBC about the African business aspirations of his company, which will be launched in Nigeria in the near future.
Before the COVID-19 disruption of global betting, Interwetten’s executive team reported that the sportsbook had obtained a’ national license’ from the Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria (LRC).
The announcement see Beier implementing a key strategic leadership directive, pushing Interwetten to expand beyond its market position in DACH and Europe (Spain and Greece).
“The strategic process was launched last summer, in which we assessed various new markets in which to build-up Interwetten as a sustainable and attractive long-term business,” Beier said.
A regional market analysis saw the executive team of Interwetten decide on a option between Africa and South America as new territories to broaden the brand profile of the sportsbook.
“The situation regarding regulation and licenses was very straight forward, therefore we went for Africa. Nigeria is the first market which we will enter and from there we want to build up our regulated footprint across Africa,” he details.
Beier is confident in the intent of his business, and knows that Interwetten is a latecomer to the Nigerian betting scene. Market analysis in 2019 estimated Nigerian sports wagering at approximately $730 billion annually ($2 billion), with 50 betting sites registered competing on the market.
Launching in Nigeria, Beier underlines that Interwetten’s saturation is no entry barrier–”Which marketplace isn’t saturated… I really want to know! “Instead, Beier argues that Africa continues to be a marketplace where few leading European operators have developed a presence, giving Interwetten a glaring opportunity.
Having carried out a year-long evaluation of business variables, Beier is optimistic that Interwetten is fully aware of cultural nuances and local customs at play, which will be coupled with the company’s tested operational know-how.
“In order to handle the process and the set-up we had an internal project team which coordinated all product, trading, marketing legal and other touchpoints. That worked really well parallelly to the growth in our core markets. In order to strengthen our footprint though, we will for sure look into where additional resources are required.”
Beier says he is not afraid to test the potential of the legacy sportsbook away from its home comforts, in which the young executive has been named as the pioneer in bringing a’ generational change’ to Interwetten.
A strong first year in charge of Interwetten, Beier has seen a challenging European regulatory environment delivering record corporate revenue metrics.
The gamble of Interwetten governance in naming the youngest CEO of the industry seems to be paying off, as Beier moves to write the latest African chapter for the legacy operator (established 2000).
“We are very well known for our reliability and our market-leading product. Our first goal will be to persuade Nigerian betting consumers that we have the best offer in the market, trusting that our principals that we are more fun and safe than what the competition has been to date.”
“We are confident that we can deliver a best-in-class product for Nigeria, a market which Interwetten will make its base for African expansion” Beier concludes.