Uganda football sponsorship boosts BetLion product launch

BetLion has targeted the competitive Uganda market after combining the launch of its new betting product by signing a sponsorship deal with the country’s national football team.

The operator has pressed the ‘go’ button on the launch of a jackpot product whereby revenue is donated to sports development in Uganda. This comes after a successful soft launch at the start of this year. This product has been developed with the local demand for double digit multiples and a football focus in mind.

Customers can place 13-fold selections for a stake of just 3,000 Ugandan shillings (60p), with a potential ‘jackpot’ payout of UGX 150,000,000 (£30,000). The ‘Cranes Jackpot’, set to run weekly, will continue to rollover and grow with every entry.

The wider FSB-powered product includes payment solutions and player offers that would excel even on a global level, including instant deposits and the withdrawal of customer funds via mobile payment solutions. BetLion’s proprietary software has been developed by a Rwandan software developer Mvend and FSB Tech.

BetLion will supplement its sponsorship spend by contributing a significant percentage of revenues to develop Ugandan football from the national team, who were only denied a World Cup 2018 place by a Mohamed Salah inspired Egypt, right through to grassroots level.

Oliver Bates, CEO of BetLion, said: “As part of our commitment to invest into Uganda, we have partnered with the Ugandan National Football Team. This unique partnership substantiates our commitment to the development of football in Uganda and the wider sports.”

The company has therefore embraced a sticking point for potential market incumbents, namely that Uganda-based operators are taxed 20% on gross gaming revenues (GGR) and players lose 15% of stake and winnings to the state, by throwing its full support behind the emerging nation.

BetLion has also addressed how “nuanced” each African market is by hiring only Ugandan nationals under the stewardship of Managing Director Lionel Kabenge, formerly the Head of Projects, Aggregation and Digital Financial Services for Yo Uganda Limited – a major Ugandan payment solutions provider. BetLion already employs over 50 people in Uganda, all Ugandan nationals.

The BetLion offering has been developed with Ugandans in mind. The Ugandan management team hold a deep understanding of the market, where high costs often restrict the level of data consumption on mobile devices, meaning that the recruitment of players through digital only advertising, so popular in Europe, needs to be boosted by a presence on more traditional channels such as newspaper and radio.

Bates continued: “We are delighted to have launched in Uganda following a considerable soft launch period that ensured we have brought an offering to the Ugandan market that is truly unique in being developed by Ugandans for Uganda.

“At the heart of our offering is ensuring we provide the best possible service and products to our customers. At the core of this offering is ensuring we are providing a responsible environment to enjoy sport and betting. We are pleased that as part of our commitment in Uganda we have gone above and beyond in our commitment to providing a socially responsible offering.”

Despite the excitement over this launch, BetLion has also teased plans to enter more emerging and established gaming markets. This will be overseen by new Group Operations Director Peter Stagles, who has made the switch after impressing at 21Bet, another operator running off FSB software.

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