Peter Stagles has made the move from 21Bet to bolster the management team at BetLion ahead of the operator’s planned assault on the East African sports betting market.
His appointment as Group Operations Director comes at an exciting time for BetLion, who this month combined the launch of its new betting product in Uganda by signing a sponsorship deal with the country’s national football team.
BetLion will also contribute a significant percentage of revenues from the UGX 150 Million ‘Cranes Jackpot’ to develop Ugandan football, from the national team right through to grassroots level.
In his new role, Stagles will oversee considerable expansion plans as BetLion intends to launch in a number of other territories within East Africa over the next 12 months. However, for the duration of the World Cup and the months ahead, his primary focus will be on Uganda.
He said: “It’s a hugely exciting time and I am relishing the challenge of helping to take BetLion forward to become one of the foremost betting companies, firstly in Uganda and then further afield.
“Making the decision to move from East London to East Africa was a big one, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I would have thought. This was because the huge potential that BetLion has to make waves within the African market was so apparent. This is what made the opportunity so compelling.
“With the plans that we are developing, a great team with localised knowledge on the ground, our aggressive marketing approach and an impressive platform powered by FSB tech, we have all the ingredients in place for our ambitious growth programme to succeed.”
Stagles made the “big” decision to move after nearly two and a half years with 21Bet, as both Head of UK and Global Gaming and Sportsbook Manager.
Prior to that, he spent more than five years at Blue Square at the beginning of the internet betting boom, before undertaking a number of trading and consultancy roles in the industry.
He added: “I am very much structure and process driven and put huge emphasis on product. The experience gained through previous roles and the relationships formed working with FSB and other B2B partners in the past will hold me in good stead in adding considerable value to the brand.”
BetLion CEO Oliver Bates said: “I am delighted to welcome Peter to the team – he provides a fantastic level of knowledge and a wealth of experience, all of which will be invaluable to us at BetLion.”
Stagles also noted the clear appetite for sportsbetting within Uganda, a country which continues to embrace internet and mobile technology. In fact, online sports betting’s status as a growth industry in Uganda is shown by the fact that a quarter of urban males have placed a bet.
He concluded: “What really appealed to me is the way that that BetLion resonate with Ugandan’s and the approach that will be taken in East Africa. We are fully invested into the region with almost all of the team being Nationals. This localisation and ability to converse with our custom base is key and it is something that is far too often overlooked or underplayed by online competitors.”
BetLion has become one of the first companies to bring Cash Out to ‘mobile first’ Uganda. The total number of mobile phone subscriptions is 23,529,979 (over 43%), while over 17 million (41%) have access to internet, and there are over 22 million mobile money subscribers.