Altenar has continued to support the expansion efforts for its sports betting and gaming customers by securing certification for both Denmark and Portugal.
We spoke to the company’s CEO Stanislav Silin about the “technical and procedural synergies” between the two, challenges relative to other territories, and the need for a software provider to be “the enabler, not a blocker” for its partners.
SBC: Having collected UKGC and MGA licences in 2019, why were Denmark and Portugal the next target markets for Altenar?
SS: Last year we successfully launched three sportsbooks in newly regulated Sweden, which is still in the process of refining and amending some of its policies.
At the same time, Denmark has an established regulatory regime in Scandinavian territory. So we have seen an opportunity to extend our regulatory reach in such a significant market, whilst maximising the investment already made for compliance with Sweden.
Similarly, the change management processes that the Danish regulator wants operators and suppliers to follow has similarities with those for Portugal. So yet again, we found technical and procedural synergies between the territories.
However, while these are the arguments that made it appealing to work on these territories together from a compliance point of view, we had other business reasons to do so.
We had existing customers wishing to launch in these territories whom we were eager to support in their expansion efforts, along with signing a new operator who plans to launch in Denmark.
SBC: What can we expect to see from Altenar in these countries – do you have any immediate plans pending receipt of the licences?
SS: As a B2B provider we do not need to have an operating licence in these countries, but we have to satisfy the same technical and process requirements as would be applicable to the actual licensees.
The plan is to support our current customers’ expansion plans, which are already in motion for both of these jurisdictions. We also hope this will help us sign up new operators, but the original motivation is still for our existing customer base to grow.
SBC: Can you just outline the process in both cases? What were the biggest challenges relative to other jurisdictions?
SS: Both of these territories require us to be really good at managing how our software gets to production and how it evolves over time. There is a big focus on change management procedures for both Denmark and Portugal, and that is exactly where we have made significant improvements over the past year in order to to obtain similar certifications.
SBC: When designing the sportsbook UX, do you look at what you’ve done in Sweden (for Denmark) and Spain (for Portugal), or is that an over simplistic geographical based view? Do you need ‘boots on the ground’ to get the best market view?
SS: All of these countries you mention have different localisation and customisation profiles. Some regulatory concepts are similar, such as security requirements or change management processes, and there we do get some synergies.
However, an operator wishing to target a specific territory usually needs content configured to be attractive and appealing to their players. We get the best feedback from the operators, and they are, indeed, the best “boots on the ground” as you put it, as they know their players best.
SBC: Portugal has one of the toughest tax regimes for igaming in Europe; what is the knock on effect in terms of revenue potential for a supplier such as Altenar?
SS: It remains to be seen, as we have just received the certification, and are still waiting for the customers to go live. However, we trust our partner to have a good commercial idea on the strategy in this particular market. In general, we make money if our customer makes money, so we will have to work together to achieve this.
SBC: Denmark is similar in terms of finding a tax vs channelisation balance; what is the supplier’s role in suppressing the offshore market?
SS: We are a software provider and a B2B supplier of services. So our role is to offer a compliant and certified software together with operational expertise to the extent that we can, so that our operators have all the tools necessary to expand into regulatory markets. We want to be the enabler, and not a blocker.