Over the last few years, online gaming has been a prominent source of entertainment in Europe, undergoing impressive growth in various markets. Stoiximan, the leading online gaming operator in Greece, rose to the top by involving the voice of its online community and investing in breakthrough technologies. This ultimately allowed them to expand their reach across multiple European markets.
Following this year’s edition of the London Affiliate Conference (LAC), we spoke with Business Development Manager Alkisti Malami of Stoiximan and Betano about current and future operations, the evolution of their affiliate programme, as well as their goals for 2019 and beyond.
Income Access (IA): The Stoiximan brand focuses on the Greek market, while sister brand Betano focuses on Romania. Can you tell us about these sports betting markets in terms of their recent evolution and how player profiles compare with other European markets (such as the UK)?
Alkisti Malami (AS): Betano, which is a digital sports betting and casino brand, currently operates in Romania, Germany, Austria, and expects to launch in Portugal within Q2. The Stoiximan brand focuses on Greece and Cyprus.
Although these markets are all within Europe, they don’t necessarily share similarities in terms of their regulatory front, market saturation and player behaviour. Romania and Portugal are nationally regulated markets with clear guidelines on product offering and communications options, while Germany and Greece have had to navigate temporary licenses and pending national legislation applications.
For the past couple of years, we observed a significant increase in brands entering the German market, although growth of the corresponding player audience has itself remained disproportionately low. Meanwhile, Portugal and Romania saw steady growth towards market maturity in terms of player volume and new companies entering the market. Again, player behaviour varies across different markets and is directly tied to regulatory frameworks and cultural traits.
IA: What are Stoiximan’s and Betano’s unique selling points (USPs) or market niches in their respective markets?AS: We position both brands as top tier entertainment providers that are committed to placing player satisfaction at the centre of its operations. This translates to providing high odds and significant product depth in sportsbook, continuously enhancing our casino offering, and ensuring that the customer journey and support from registration to final transaction is quick, pleasant and effective.
IA: You launched an affiliate programme for Stoiximan and Betano in October 2017. How has the programme evolved over the last 18 months or so?AS: One of our corporate values is “people first” and this applies to all our product stakeholders, including employees, customers and even third parties. We see our affiliate partnerships as key strategic ones. In that sense, we focus on creating a lucrative and mutually beneficial programme that allows for the longevity and growth of all our partnerships.
IA: You’re at LAC to promote the programme. How receptive have affiliates been to it?AS: We are happy to report that we received rather positive feedback on the programme. LAC is the best place to connect with our affiliate partners, ensuring smooth workflow and cooperation. It’s also a good opportunity to foster new business relationships and catch up on established ones in a more relaxed, out-of-office environment.
IA:What are your plans for the programme in 2019?AS: We are planning to provide even more automated options for our affiliates through Income Access’ solutions, beginning with the affiliate software. Our company strategy is to play an active role and collaborate with our third-party providers, which allows us to customise solutions both in the front and back end. With IA, we’ll actively identify opportunities for improvement and seek solutions that will help our affiliates succeed.
IA: Looking ahead, how are you planning to evolve your two flagship brands and overall product offering?AS: Since 2018, it has been our team’s objective to focus on expansion, which is why in 2019 we are continuing to drive our growth in three new markets. We plan on a long-term investment in these markets, including local human resources and setting up a local team of experts.
Beyond long-term strategic business planning, we will dedicate our taskforces to growing the local market share in the new countries, further localising our product offering and continuously optimising our players’ journey.