A European-based company is aiming to revolutionize the betting shop experience with the opening of two shops in Central London. When we say the company name Samvo, most of you will probably only remember them for that botched letter their lawyers sent us earlier in the summer over a number of visits/raids/dinner dates/one night stands (delete as appropriate) they had with the Thin Blue Line. The result an unsuccessful one for them and we hadn’t heard hide nor hare of them.
Now they are embarking on a campaign to expand into the British land-based bookmaking market with a new approach. We spoke to the company’s Marketing Director David Miller who, after inviting us to the grand opening on October 12th, explained a little more about what the firm does.
In terms of the new retail premises, he said, “The initial focus for our entry into retail bookmaking is London. We will officially open two samvo betting cafés: on Camden High Street and King Street, Hammersmith. We call them “betting cafés” as they are quite a new retail concept, designed to attract a younger, more affluent customer. We are currently working to launch other betting cafés in London and other major UK cities and hope to grow the estate to around 10 units in total.”
Why enter the UK market now? Surely during a recession like we are having right now, embarking on a period of expansion in a very competitive marketplace is risky.
Miller explained, “Despite the poor macro-economic climate, retail bookmaking is still relatively healthy. Also, Samvo is on a steep growth curve with its online b2b and b2c businesses. The launch of the retail concern fits well within the overall strategy.”
The company was founded in 2004 and holds licenses from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), United Kingdom Gambling Commission and Curacao Gambling Commission (CGC). The founder is “highly respected” ex-investment banker Frank Chan still owns the company that grew from humble beginnings in Asia.
“Samvo is proud of its Asian roots however its Asian operations are largely development related, as its global HQ is in Europe. All global trading, marketing and day-to-day operations are managed out of offices in Guernsey and London,” Miller added.
It’s still unclear as to what they do in the Asian market and whether they operate in the most world’s most lucrative gambling industry market. As far as online gambling operations are concerned, Miller mused, “samvo.com is a small but growing online gambling site that offers sportsbetting – with particularly attractive prices on handicap betting – and casino games. It is currently undergoing a major overhaul and will re-launch in 2012 with an improved UI and exciting new products. samvobetbroker.com has already established itself as one of the leading global destinations for professional punters, offering outstanding service, prices and settlements.”
In terms of international operations it seems that the samvobetbroker site is where they do most of their business with no clarification as to whether this takes place in Asia or not not. Check back here on CalvinAyre.com to find out whether this is the revolution in betting shops or just after October 12th. In the mean time we’ll leave you to read our Samvo comic from earlier this summer. Enjoy…