iGaming Latvia: How Tonybet Plans to Make its Mark!
Although the Latvian market has been established and thriving for some time, there still is room for growth, judging by the recent interest being attracted by some of iGaming’s leading operators. TonyBet is one of them, making a clear statement of intent with their recent £1.5m investment to launch in Latvia.
We caught up with Valters Rozmanis, Latvia Country Manager for TonyBet to get a better understanding of why launching in this market is so important and more importantly, what will be the biggest growth drivers for this jurisdiction going forward.
TonyBet invested over €1.5m to launch in Latvia. Why is this market so strategically important to TonyBet. What will be the biggest drivers of growth in Latvia going forward?
“TonyBet has its largest office based out of the Latvian capital of Riga. The Local market, although being strictly regulated, is seeing a healthy increase in players and revenue. The main drivers for the Latvian market are slot games, but there will definitely be a big impact received from the FIFA WC in Q4. Latvians haven’t participated in these kinds of tournaments themselves (best record – Euro 2004 group stage), but they are big fans of the biggest football events, the interest in the event will be huge, no doubt that November/December will be a Sportsbook oriented and football-focused time.”
Latvia is renowned for having a strong slots gaming community. How have you catered for this in your games portfolio and what are gaming products do you expect to perform well in this market?
“Spot on with the observation. Latvian market is a slot-heavy market, casino being 80% of total GGR. We are aiming to provide our customers with the best offer in this field. Historically, Greentube and their “Book of Ra” games have performed well locally, so we have plans to integrate the provider in the following weeks. Most of other top providers we have either integrated already or are planning to do so in the next few months. The biggest anticipation of course is around Sportsbook products during FIFA WC, as mentioned above.”
How does the level of industry focus on responsible gambling in Latvia compare to notoriously strict jurisdictions such as the UK and the rest of Europe? What are the key benefits you will gain from partnering with Neccton as your primary RG solutions provider?
“Latvian regulation in the field of responsible gambling is almost non-existent compared to the UK, however, we as an industry decided to be proactive and collaborate with LIAB (local association of responsible and licensed gambling operators) and over the last few years, we have established a code of conduct for the industry to follow. Our partnership with Neccton allows Tonybet to make the next steps in the evolution of Responsible Gambling – allowing AI-driven tech to monitor customer gaming patterns and create an informed, personalised dashboard in their customer lobby. This approach is beyond local strategy and also relates to our operations in several markets.”
Latvia is already an established market with some popular brands currently in operation. Is there still room for growth in this market and how can you stand out from the crowd to attract market share?
“Yes, we do believe there is room for a competitive offering. The Latvian licensed online betting and gaming market generated €109m of gross win in 2021, having grown at a 3-year CAGR (2018-21) of 26%. We see that the clear acceleration was in 2021, when the market grew by 92% year on year, however, this was in part due to lower 2020 base where the market was closed for 2 months. There was a market analysis done by H2 Gambling Capital about the Latvian market recently that reported Latvia to have a lower, but steady level of growth, with the market forecast to achieve a gross win of €172m in 2026, growing at a five-year CAGR (2021-2026) of 10%. Market growth, together with a strong product, we believe, is the key to success in the long run, we are confident we can beat current average standards.”
After speaking with Valters, it’s clear that although Latvia is very much an established market, there is definitely still room for expansion, especially when you take into consideration the recent market growth rates.
As far as successful products are concerned, slots will always be the predominant vertical but with the upcoming world cup, it seems there will be some fantastic growth opportunities in the sportsbook sector too. Exciting times ahead for this dynamic Baltic region.