GoBet, the Partnership Division of SuperBet Group, the largest sports betting operator in Romania, accelerates: from 150 to 1,500 GoBet partners in three years.
In 2017, Simina Rosca partnered with GoBet, a sports betting brand carrying out its business under the umbrella of the Superbet Group. A year later, she can say already that this was a wise a choice. Her story alongside GoBet turned into a successful start-up.
She is no longer investing out of her pocket and she is already looking for a second location, in Timisoara.
“I’d love to keep this rhythm and be able to open an agency each year, as we will certainly have two of agencies next year. But we shall see about it as this depends on a wider economic context,” said Simina Rosca, in an interview for Casino Magazine.
Within one year, another GoBet partner, Dumitru Lățea also succeeded in opening three agencies under the same brand. “I’ve seen once an advertisement on the SuperBet website, it was related to the GoBet franchise partnerships and, because SuperBet is the best in Romania when it comes to sports betting, I decided to go with the best,” said the GoBet partner from Filiași about his choice of the GoBet franchise.
Roșca found out about GoBet when he came to Bucharest; he also knew about them as she used to pay very close attention to this industry – she tried in the past to enter some franchises from other betting agencies, but she never reached an agreement with the franchisors.
This brand appealed to her the most, due the confidence it conveyed. “The fact that GoBet is part of the SuperBet, a brand that I admire a lot due to the way it has been growing to become the largest business of this kind in Romania, mattered greatly when I decided to choose this partnership with GoBet”, added Rosca.
The initial investment amounted to 4000 euros and it was spent on the deposit (5000 RON) given to the GoBet and on the design of the agency in keeping with the brand requirements. All the monthly running costs incurred with this business are paid by the franchised partner. With two employees and a GoBet location with five slot machines, Rosca says she has already reached the breakeven.
She says that a few hundred sports-lovers from Timisoara come monthly to her agency to use everything they know about the sport they are passionate about, but also to spend some quality time, taking their chances while gambling.
THE POWER OF BRAND.
GoBet, member of the SuperBet Group, the largest sports betting operator in Romania, with a network of nearly 1,000 agencies (of which 850 under the SuperBet brand, the other under GoBet) was founded in 2016 and is the Franchise Partnerships Division within the group. Nowadays, GoBet has reached a national network of 150 partner agencies, and the company will continue to expand at the same pace, if the local and international economic background will allow it, according to the company’s representatives. As a business model, GoBet decided to develop exclusively through franchise partnerships.
“The most important advantage of GoBet is that it benefits from the Superbet experience and consequently, it can provide within its segment, the best betting products and services along with the most competitive offer and the best rates” declared Vlad Ardeleanu, the General Manager of Superbet Romania.
The fact that GoBet has the best rates is also beneficial for the brand, especially that competition in Timisoara is not something to sneeze at for those who venture into this market. “Our major advantage is that we have a central location and that the gamblers who come to our agency know that GoBet belongs to the SuperBet. In fact, we have gamblers who play in both agencies,” explained Rosca. Lățea is also pleased with the number of gamblers entering his agencies. He insisted to tell us, for example, that during the recently ended Football World Cup, he had in one single day a record of 1,200 tickets played – normally, the daily quantity of bet tickets played reaches a few hundred.
Another advantage offered by this type of alliance relates to licensing, which comes as a package once the partnership is concluded. “If we were to open a betting agency on our own, we couldn’t, because of the high cost of entry this industry which is, as you know, very well regulated ( the editor’s note – the annual price of the license and permits to operate on the gambling market is more than 100,000 euros) “, says Rosca. Therefore, this franchise partnership proved the fastest and the cheapest way to become an entrepreneur in an industry where she wanted to start her own business.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN FRANCHISE. In Romania, the franchise market has started to have some encouraging dynamics – a 15-20% annual growth, which shows that Romanians are increasingly interested in this type of entrepreneurship that offers them a safety net – the power of the brand they choose and lower entry costs. It is precisely because it has just started out, that the market of franchises has been growing steadily over the past two years, from 1.9 billion euros (2015) to 2.5 billion euros (2016). The estimates indicate a 3-billion-euro threshold by the end of 2017, according to the consulting companies in the field.
Franchise concept is much more developed abroad than it is in Romania. In France, for example, there are 1,300 concepts, while in Romania there are only 363 active concepts on the market in 2017, according to the information on francize.ro.
Returning to the GoBet, the plan is to open 500-600 partnership agencies per year. “By the end of this year, we want to have 250 locations and before the end of 2021 we want to have 1,500 franchised partners all over the country”, Ardeleanu said.
GoBet Optimistic figures could materialize, because people interested in turnkey businesses have a growing tendency to go for local brands, even though international brands are still favourite (about 65% of the active franchises in Romania are international brands, contrary to what happens in mature economies, such as, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, where the rate of local brands franchised reached 70-75%).
On the other hand, Romanian capital businesses can grow more rapidly through franchising, and more and more local entrepreneurs see an expansion path in such alliances. It is also the case of the SuperBet Group which, in addition to regional expansion (last year they started operations on the Polish market and opened offices in ten countries already), has started to expand its business also by multiplying GoBet through partnerships throughout the country.
In a previous interview to the Casino Magazine, Vlad Ardeleanu, the General Manager of Superbet Romania, said that the goal of his mandate is for the Superbet Group to become number one in the Central and Eastern European region. On the international level, the founders’ dream as well as his own is for the Superbet to become as bigger a business as the global industry leaders, currently operating on the market.
Superbet’s business is now consolidated under the umbrella of the Superbet Holding Romania, which operates three retail brands – Superbet, GoBet and Magic Jackpot, the slots brand.
GROWING UP. At the level of the gambling industry, sports betting is the most dynamic segment featuring the highest growth potential. Football and tennis are the most popular sports to bet on. Further to the assessment of the players’ behaviour, we can see that most of them place their bets in both retail and online agencies.
Looking at the figures I have, about 50% of players use both environments, the rest play either online or in retail. The average stake per ticket is under 2 euro, and the prizes paid are frequent and small – “about 99% of the winning tickets involve prizes below 1,000 lei”, according to the figures offered to the press by Doru Gheorghiu, the Managing Director of Romanian Bookmakers.
In terms of development, the Romanian betting market is still below the level of the profile markets in Spain, Italy or the UK. The official estimates published in the middle of last year by the Rombet Gambling Association showed a turnover in the Romanian gambling industry between 1 and 1.5 billion euros. Out of this amount, sports bets in agencies gained 150-200 million euros (there are no figures at this time, for online sports betting).
“Superbet Group is today one of the largest contributors to the GDP, with more than 35 million euros paid in 2017, due its size and the revenues of 130 million euros gained last year, “ Ardeleanu emphasized.
It is worth mentioning that the industry has strongly developed especially after the legal framework was clarified, more precisely upon the enactment of stricter regulations during 2013-2015 period.
From a tax perspective, it is one of the industries additionally taxed by 7% more than other activity domains, with the purpose to support areas such as sport, education and culture (if we break these 7% down, 1% goes to the Ministry of Culture for the Film Fund and the National Program for Restoration of Historical Monuments, 2% go to the Ministry of National Education, 2% to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and 2% go to the Ministry of Health supplementing the amounts assigned to the Hospital Rehabilitation Program). Also, in terms of taxation, the contribution to the GDP is not inconsiderable – more than half a billion. The license and permits fees alone totalled 300 million euros in 2017, according to the figures provided by Odeta Nestor, the President of the Remote Gambling Association and the former President of the National Gambling Office (ONJN).
Superbet Group, the parent company of GoBet
– EUR 130 million in 2017 in revenues
– 3000 employees
– Retail network of 1,000 agencies and 3 brands
– Nearly 16 million tickets played monthly
– Prizes paid to gamblers – over 1 million euro per day
– 35 million EUR paid in 2017 to the state budget (turnover tax, income tax, payroll taxes for 3,000 employees + other local taxes)