Betsson exec: Condensed sporting calendar “key driver” to higher turnover

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Betsson exec: Condensed sporting calendar “key driver” to higher turnover

The revised sporting schedule as a result of the coronavirus pandemic helped Betsson post higher turnover for Q4 2020, according to the operator’s sports product director.

The coronavirus pandemic caused all major sport worldwide to be suspended or delayed last March, with the English Premier League suspended from 13 March 2020 until 17 June.

Live sport has since returned under a new environment with a condensed schedule and matches played behind closed doors, with the 2020/21 European football season taking place since September almost entirely under these conditions.

Betsson sports product director Joakim Thor told Gambling Insider that the packed schedule and staggered kick-off times helped sports betting become “a slightly higher proportion of our sportsbook’s turnover.” The operator’s group revenue for 2020 increased by 24% year-on-year to SEK 6.39bn ($745.2m), aided by a 37% rise in Q4. In terms of its sportsbook, revenue rose 23% for 2020 compared to the year prior and 47% for Q4.

Speaking to Gambling Insider, Thor said: “The return of major events came with a condensed sporting schedule for a number of months. Any operational challenges this presented were embraced and overcome and it was an exciting period for sportsbook.

“The key driver to higher turnover was the revised schedules which meant there were high-profile matches seven days a week and kick-off times were staggered even more so than usual, rather than having numerous concurrent games.

“Ensuring a highly competitive live offering is therefore even more important and we are always looking at new ways of enhancing the live betting experience.”

Thor was also hopeful that the delayed European Championships will take place as planned from June and even if the tournament has to be played with no fans, that shouldn’t impact Betsson’s sports betting offering.

Thor added: “Anything can happen in these uncertain times, but it would seem most likely that Euro 2020 will take place this summer, albeit with the format and some locations potentially changed.

“Fan attendance will, at best, be limited one would imagine, but this has become the norm of late and is not likely to have any significant impact.”