BUSINESS

Betsson chairman steps down and Italian sports betting slumps

TAGs: AAMS, Betsson, Italy

Outgoing Betsson CEO Pontus LindwallSwedish gaming company Betsson has announced that the group’s current CEO will be elected to the board. Pontus Lindwall has been in the job for the past 13 years and will step up to the role of chairman from 1 July. Current Betsson Malta chief executive Magnus Silfverberg played out the 10-second rule when Lindwall got up and will now be filling the outgoing CEO’s boots at Betsson.

Upon stepping down, Lindwall, with tissue in hand, told eGaming Review, “I have had the position of group CEO since January 1998, since then the company has become a lot bigger.”

He continued, “As every other department is growing we need to do the same in top management, and that is what we are doing by upgrading Magnus. He really knows the company, and that is vastly important in this landscape.”

The news comes after Betsson enjoyed record revenue figures for the final quarter of 2010 thanks in no small part to the sports betting part of the business. They also went on an unprecedented expansion drive over the past six months as they signed deals in the Asian hotbeds of China and India, and also Italy, with an obvious view towards the future. Those Scandinavians sure know how to party and do business at the same time it seems!

Italian sports betting market declinesAlso in Europe, Italy saw their online sports betting market decline in the month of March. Figures released today by the regulatory body AAMS saw the market suffer a sharp decline of 20.8% year-on-year in March. The decline was blamed on Serie A soccer’s depleted schedule compared with last year that meant a €100m decrease in betting.

Much like other markets, in-play betting rose 13% compared with March 2010 but it will still be scant consolation. It comes after the entire Italian gaming market grew by 28 per cent in 2010 and showed signs of taking off, as if they’d had one too many cans of Red Bull, obviously with some vodka mixed in. This will bring them back down to Earth with a resounding bump though, much like the morning after a night on the vod-bulls would.

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