Betway sees 'opportunity' as Italy continues to thrive
Betway will adopt a “wait and see” approach to its marketing operations in Italy after unveiling a new three-year sponsorship deal with Serie A club AS Roma just days after a ban on gambling-related advertising was confirmed.
While the ban announced recently by the Italian government was implemented from Monday, new figures from the country's gambling regulator show sports betting spending grew by almost 40% year-on-year to €47.6m ($56m) in June.
Bet365 continued to lead the way with a market share of nearly 17%, with SKS365 and Snaitech also securing more than 10% of spending.
While not among the leaders in the market at present, Betway chief executive Anthony Werkman said the substantial growth of the Italian betting sector suggests there is room for operators to expand.
“What this shows is that there is an opportunity in the Italian market for well informed and innovative brands such as Betway,” Werkman told iGamingBusiness.com.
“Our plans in any country are to fill the gap between the event and the betting slip with exciting information, great content, secure systems, and markets that are specific to the country audiences.
“It’s our world class products and how we shape them for the Italian market that will be the overriding advert for Betway in Italy”
Meanwhile, Werkman also gave an update on his company’s sponsorship deal with AS Roma.
The announcement that Betway had become the Uefa Champions League semi-finalist’s sponsor for the next three years has been overshadowed by the Italian government's new ban on gambling advertising.
The ban includes the outlawing of shirt sponsorships from June 30, 2019 – a full two years before the end of Betway’s deal with Roma. Confirmation of the ban can be seen in Google's new policy in the country, which states that "only state lotteries with deferred drawing will be allowed to run gambling advertisements in Italy" from July 16.
Betway’s branding will feature on the Giallorossi’s training kit, while it will also benefit from training ground signage, in-stadium LEDs and exclusive content from Roma’s award-winning digital team to increase its brand awareness on a global scale.
"In the longer term, we are happy to wait and see how the regulatory landscape evolves and will comply with whatever the laws stipulate,” said Werkman.
“For the time being, though, we are delighted to have AS Roma on board and look forward to a fruitful partnership with them, their supporters, and the Italian online-gaming community at large."