Operator talk: TV football and innovation driving Denmark explosion

Operator talk: TV football and innovation driving Denmark explosion

Friday, June 3, 2016 Totally Gaming
Unibet's Per Marxen reflected on another quarter of double-digit growth in the Danish market

Denmark’s gambling market has been described as “fiercely competitive” by Unibet after the nation’s gambling regulator announced that revenues had soared by more than 30 per cent during the first quarter of 2016.

In figures released by Spillemyndigheden, the country’s licensed operators brought in gross gaming revenue (GGR) of DK975m (€131.1m/$146.0m) in the three months through to March 31. That was up by around a third compared to the DK750m accrued during the same period last year, and around seven per cent higher than the figure for Q4 2015. Betting was up 33 per cent year-on-year to DK585m, with online betting now accounting for 64 per cent of the vertical’s total figure.

Unibet is one of the biggest betting and gaming operators in the market, and Per Marxen, head of press relations at Unibet Denmark, told TotallyGaming.com that innovation and media exposure have been the key drivers of growth.

“The Danish market at present is fiercely competitive, with Unibet and Bet365 heading the pack chasing Danske Spil,” said Marxen. “With the state-owned operator as the biggest marketer in Denmark, private operators are forced to be more creative and innovative in our efforts in order to catch up.

“Competition drives innovation, and we have continuously seen targeted campaigns focusing on major sports events. The excitement around the Danish Superliga and the many surprises in the English Premier League have driven attention, not only in the betting industry but also among broadcasters. With the rights for Primera Division, Premier League, Superliga, Bundesliga and Serie A split between two outlets - MTG and Discovery Networks - the volume of matches is significant. Add Champions and Europa League to the mix and you get exciting football matches every day of the week on TV.

“Since Unibet also has streaming rights for many leagues and has a strong focus on content, we aim to get as close as possible to the events that our customers are interested in.

“Being increasingly customer-centric and constantly improving is no doubt a factor in the growth of the market.”

Denmark now has 27 gambling licence-holders, a figure that includes 15 sports betting operators. Each of those will be banking on big returns as the Uefa Euro 2016 international football tournament takes place over the course of the next month, with Marxen suggesting that records are set to be broken despite Denmark failing to reach the finals of the competition.

“Tournaments like the European Championships and World Cup mean hitting all-time highs,” Marxen said. “Although it would have been better for operators in the Danish market to have seen Denmark participating in Euro 2016, we expect to hit several all-time highs this summer.

“In Denmark we have launched a massive 360-degree campaign called ‘0 Right’, where the aim is to get Euro matches WRONG. The campaign is headed by our local brand ambassador Brian Laudrup and has made a very promising start since it went live last Sunday.

“With Copa America Centenario starting tonight (Friday), it looks like being a massive football summer, so there is reason for optimism, when it comes to achieving and surpassing our goals.”

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