It was confirmed late last week that STS, the biggest bookmaker in Poland, was ready to enter 11 new European markets – including the UK and Germany – after reaching a deal with BetConstruct for the provision of both sports betting and gaming content.
Just a few days on, we caught up with Mateusz Juroszek, CEO of STS, to discuss lessons learned from Poland, the freedom to work under less penal tax conditions and the key targets for the operator’s BetConstruct-powered expansion.
SBC: What have you learned from your Polish operations to guide your successful expansion into new markets?
MJ: STS is not only the biggest bookmaker in Poland, but also one of the biggest companies in the country.
We have developed half of the domestic sector, and our brand is recognized by 80% of Poles. Therefore, the time has come for the next step, i.e. development outside the country’s borders.
In the first phase of our foreign expansion we want to reach mainly the Polish diaspora – in Great Britain there are nearly one million Poles, in Germany there are not much less, and in Norway nearly 100 thousand, and in Iceland another 50 thousand Poles.
This is a great potential for a company like STS, because we know the Polish player very well and we know how to convince him to our offer. Ultimately, however, we want to become one of the key players . We have ambitious development plans for our group.
SBC: With less penal tax restrictions than in Poland, how much more freedom does this give you, both in terms of allocating money to product development, and adjusting margins to a more attractive level for customers?
MJ: Outside Poland, the STS offer is complementary, as local legislation allows it. The offer includes a casino or live casino. We have been repeating for a long time that in Poland the Act strongly limits the development of the industry. On foreign markets we can take full advantage of our potential. This is also reflected in the competitive odds offered by the world’s biggest players.
SBC: What has been the impact of boosting the number of streamed events for your customers?
MJ: We notice that streams in STS TV become more and more popular. This is the reason why we are still expanding the number of broadcasts in our offer. It is highly important due to live betting and its growing interest among the customers.
STS TV is one of the bookmaker’s most popular features on all online channels. Top matches are watched by thousands of unique users. STS cooperates with three providers to make our coverage as wide as it is possible. In Poland, only three licensed bookmakers have live streaming, one of them is STS. So it drives our retention rate at very high level.
SBC: What are the key aims for this expansion?
MJ: In the first phase of our foreign expansion, we want to reach a large number of Polish immigrants in Europe. Ultimately, however, we want to become one of the key players. We want to work with multiple languages (other language versions of our website) apart from Polish, English and German.
SBC: What do you expect to be the big breakthrough for STS in 2019?
MJ: Undoubtedly the biggest breakthrough is that we start operations in as many as 11 foreign markets – in Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Andorra, San Marino, as well as in Gibraltar, Malta and Latvia. We hope that activities outside of Poland will be more and more visible in our revenues. At the moment, it is our priority.