A gambling site for the LGBT+ community is so much more than accepting bets on sports or casino, according to Adrianus van Spreeuwel, Founder and CEO of Bet4Pride.
Having spent the best part of a decade working for Mansion Group and bet365, van Spreeuwel helped to launch the Bet4Pride brand in the UK market late last year as a new white label sportsbook and casino operator in partnership with BetConstruct.
“I’ve worked in the industry for a long time with Mansion Group and bet365,” he said. “Going back to the start, from just a year or so in, I could never understand why there isn’t a casino tailored for us (the LGBT community). So that’s where the idea started. And obviously it developed over the years to what it is now, with more ideas still to come.”
He said that the BetConstruct team, including CEO and Co-Founder Vigen Badalyan, had “loved the concept” and quickly understood the “unique appeal” of a gaming site for LGBT right from the first meeting at last year’s ICE London.
The white label site has been accepting bets on sports and casino since November 2019, and expects to add the bingo vertical in the not too distant future.
“First we needed to establish ourselves as a brand before adding more expenses,” explained van Spreeuwel. “Hopefully we will be introducing bingo by the end of Q1 2020.
“However, we are firm in our decision not to offer greyhound or horseracing as part of the sportsbook because we don’t believe in betting on live animals. This is a strong statement to make given the popularity of these markets in the UK.”
Irrespective of the lead gambling verticals chosen for the site, Bet4Pride wants to provide a community for all LGBT groups that extends way beyond the concept of placing a bet.
“We have a blog as well where we give a voice to the different groups in the LGBT community,” van Spreeuwel continued. “This acts as both a news site and a platform for discussion around sports betting, casino, slot reviews etc.
“We call it LGBT+ because it’s a lot more than lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. There are so many other groups nowadays. We want to push the brand as a gaming community, so it’s not just all about the gambling side.”
This idea is strongly evident in the Bet4Pride plans for 2020. The company, confirmed van Spreeuwel, is in talks with several casino game providers about “slightly altering their slot games” to make it more about the LGBT community.
Meanwhile, SBC News also learned that Bet4Pride wants to change the sportsbook display to include the option of a ‘Rainbow Bet’ – which covers selections for games involving players that are openly part of the LGBT community.
“In the UK, it is very difficult for men to come out – there is still a lot of homophobia,” said van Spreeuwel. “Yet, if you look at women’s football you have a lot of lesbians that are ‘out’ and open about their sexuality. Women’s football might not be as popular as men’s from a viewership or betting standpoint, but we can boost this through the Rainbow Bet.”
Despite its successful market entry as a white label operator with BetConstruct, which has – to the surprise of van Spreeuwel – seen it develop a 30% female customer base, he admitted that the company is keen to move to a turnkey sportsbook and casino offer, albeit still running off the Armenia-based provider’s platform.
“Absolutely I would love to do it,” he said. “As we are a start-up company, we understand it will take a bit of time to expand Bet4Pride into other markets.”