Dominik Beier, Group CEO of DACH markets legacy sportsbook Interwetten has spoken to SBC on his firm’s African market ambitions, which will launch imminently within Nigeria.
Prior to global betting’s COVID-19 disruption, Interwetten’s executive team had announced that the sportsbook had secured a ‘national licence’ from Nigeria’s Lottery Regulatory Commission (LRC).
The announcement sees Beier undertake a key strategic leadership directive, challenging Interwetten to grow beyond its DACH and European (Spain and Greece) market profile.
“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 tells SBC.
A review of global markets saw Interwetten’s executive team settle on a choice between Africa and South America, as new territories in which to expand the sportsbook’s legacy profile.
“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” Beier details.
Confident in his company’s intent, Beier is well-aware of Interwetten being a latecomer to the Nigerian betting scene. 2019 market analysis valued Nigerian sports wagering at ₦730 billion annually ($2 billion), with a reported 50 betting sites competing within the marketplace.
Launching in Nigeria, Beier underlines that saturation is no entry barrier for Interwetten – “Which marketplace is not saturated…I really would like to know!”
Instead, Beier counters that Africa remains a marketplace in which few leading European operators have established a presence, presenting a glaring opportunity for Interwetten.
Having carried a year-long assessment of marketplace variables, Beier is confident that Interwetten is fully aware of cultural dynamics and local customs at play, which the company will combine with its 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 states that he is unafraid to test the legacy sportsbook’s capacity away from its home comforts, in which the young executive was appointed as the leader to bring a ‘generational change’ to Interwetten.
A successful first year in charge of Interwetten, saw Beier deliver record corporate revenue metrics against a tough European regulatory backdrop.
Interwetten governance’s gamble in appointing the industry’s youngest CEO appears to be paying off, as Beier moves to write the legacy operator (established 2000) new African chapter.
“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.