Greece has welcomed a new era which paves the way for strong market development and long-term investment, explained Kyriakos Fourniadis (pictured), Managing Director for Better Collective Greece and Romania – the division behind Betarades.gr.
In the latest edition of the Better Collective Spotlight series, Fourniadis looks into his crystal ball to discuss how the new market structure might lead to consolidation of the Greek market and why the future is bright for affiliates, who remain a “key acquisition partner” for operators irrespective of licensing costs.
SBC: When did the new regulation come in? And how has it changed the landscape for affiliates in the Greek market?
KF: After nine years, the temporary gambling licences in Greece will now be converted to permanent ones, with new operators now able to apply for a licence. The changes in the existing law were voted on in October 2019, and after some months at the European Union’s TRIS system for comments from the other state members, it was enforced from 5 August this year.
Part of the new law also includes affiliate licensing, a step towards formalising the affiliate landscape in Greece. We, as Better Collective Greece, were one of the first affiliates to apply for such a licence after the affiliates licensing system opened in early October. At the moment, we are waiting for the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) to review the applications and approve it. The last step is then for them to provide us with a permanent licensee number.
As has been the case generally for the industry, the new market structure might lead to a trend towards consolidation of the Greek market, resulting in fewer and stronger players in the market.
SBC: How will the closer monitoring of affiliate activity affect the market?
KF: Overall, a closer monitoring of the iGaming industry and the establishment of clear rules will favour the players. It helps ensure that promotions are offered within the legal framework, in a responsible way.
Affiliates hold a key position in the ecosystem and therefore have a clear responsibility when it comes to content generation. Moreover, there have been instances in the past where affiliates were using questionable tactics to attract players, so we expect that this will be minimised once affiliate licences come into effect.
SBC: Is there any concern that the greater licensing cost for sportsbooks (over casinos) might reduce their engagement with affiliate partners?
KF: Irrespective of the licensing cost for sportsbooks, affiliates still are a key acquisition partner for operators. Our competitiveness stems from our know-how and expertise to engage the sports audience which in the end results in loyal users. When we create content that the users find entertaining and fun, they naturally return to our platforms.
SBC: What does the future hold for affiliates under the new regulatory regime?
KF: I foresee a strong development of the Greek market since we now have a clear legislation and more long-term investors could be attracted to join the new era.
The Greek market has grown steadily in the last few years, even during the financial crisis, and we expect that this trend will continue into the coming years. Reports from HGC during H1 2020 were really encouraging (€232,2M). Despite the lockdown, we anticipate that GGR for 2020 will exceed last year’s figures, even though we missed Euro 2020.
With the new regulatory system, we have stability in the market, which will benefit all, including affiliates, operators and the players. At Better Collective, we look forward to the final and overall implementation of the new law.
SBC: And finally, how excited are you by the prospect of a second Betarades Greek Bookmaker Awards in 2021?
KF: We are super excited to host the second Greek Bookmaker Awards 2021 by Betarades. Our plan was to host the 2nd edition of the event during January 2021 but due to the continued outbreak of Covid-19 we postpone it for July at the same time with final stages of Euro 2021.
We expect it to be a great event, even stronger than last year’s and we hope that the insights from the Greek Bookmaker Awards will provide useful information to the Greek betting community about the various strengths of the operators in the market.