Though snow won’t fall in Malta on the 25th, it’s still Christmas and the locals – expats and natives alike – will celebrate it with vigour matching their snowed-upon peers in cooler climates.
There were 8,051 full time iGaming employees in Malta during 2020, many of whom will be celebrating either Christmas or the wider festive season, so iGamingCapital.mt reached out to a number of the most prominent industry employers to find out what Christmas looks like for them.
This is the first in a series of articles discussing what Malta’s leading operators have planned for the period.
Betsson Group is, by a considerable margin, one of the largest iGaming employers in Malta.
The company explains that Christmas will look a little different at each of its offices, depending on local health restrictions and the size of the local teams.
In Malta, the company usually organises a “fantastic” party for all local staff. The most recent one, in 2019, had over 800 employees attend:
This year, considering the resurgence of the COVID virus and the maintaining of restrictions on mass gatherings, the company has held a ‘Live Online Global Winter Gathering’ where all 2,200 ‘Betssonites’ were invited.
The event saw Betsson AB CEO Pontus Lindwall discuss the company’s major highlights in terms of market expansions and acquisitions, and Betsson Group CEO Jesper Svensson speak about the work that has been done from an operations perspective, be it the launch of new brands or in new markets, new products, and so forth.
CHRO Lena Nordin also addressed employees, discussing multiple HR and employee experience initiatives.
Employees were also eligible for a major cash prize, and the company ran a raffle with impressive prizes up for grabs.
“We also had an illusionist show with the live participation of several Betssonites across the world, and let’s not forget our annual raffle. In light of the industry we’re working in, we organised a jackpot whereby five of our employees could win great cash prizes, including the grand prize of €10,000!”
Aside from this event, Betsson is also running its virtual Winter Holiday Calendar, behind whose doors will have exciting games, videos, competitions, raffles, and much more.
“Betssonites have the chance of winning some absolutely amazing prizes,” the company said.
Christmas is not just the time for celebrating, but giving, and Betsson takes the time to reflect on some of the charitable initiatives it has operated throughout the year.
This year, it supported organisations in most of the locations it operated.
One example of this is the donation of tandem bikes to LÁSS Egyesület in Hungary – a sport and leisure association for visually impaired people.
“The idea of the tandem bicycles is to allow sighted and non-sighted people to participate together in this activity as you need the efforts of both to arrive at the destination they want to go,” a company spokesperson explains.
Betsson also made donations to foot banks in Malta and Lithuania, supported the Women for Women Foundation, and made a donation of laptops to anti-bullying NGO bBrave.
Looking forward to the new year, asked about the company’s goals, focuses and ambitions for 2022, the company says it is fortunate to be operating in a growth industry and on the digital side where there are “tremendous” opportunities to be explored.
Geographical expansion is a notable part of Betsson’s expansion strategy, and the company states that it is planning to enter regulated or regulating markets “where the conditions are right and there is plenty of growth to be unlocked.”
“Lately, this has seen us focus a lot on Latin America where today, we have a presence in Brazil, Argentine, Peru and Colombia, and earlier this year, we entered into a partnership to go live in Mexico. In Colombia, we are in the process of establishing a hub in Bogota that will act as our headquarters for our B2C operations in the region,” the company’s spokesperson added.
Additionally, Betsson has identified the US as an important region for growth and will launch a B2C operator in Colorado, though its focus will primarily be on the B2B side, with other operators leveraging its platforms and technologies to power their own brands.
It has also made a strategic investment in PAM (player account management) platform provider, Strive Gaming, to bolster its B2B offering.
Finally, Betsson points out that this time last year it launched its new native casino app, which was “extremely well received and has won several industry awards.”
In the coming year, the company intends to roll out some changes to the mobile sportsbook and then build a full native sportsbook app.
“Just like our casino app, this will offer an unrivalled user experience and will help unlock even more growth in its sportsbook products.”
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