Sunday, May 15, 2016 : FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN ELECTRONICS CHIEF TO ENTER SPORTS BETTING SECTOR
Craig Venter to head ClickaBet.
Craig Venter (53), a South African businessman who formerly headed the Altech Altron electronics empire but left last year, has unveiled a venture into the world of online sports betting through a new company titled ClickaBet.
Venter revealed that he has been developing the new company, which is 40 percent owned by businesswomen Nomzamo Xaba and Sonja Sebotsa, for the past 15 months. He told local newspaper Business Times that the South African online sports betting industry has been growing at around 20 percent per annum, and he believes his new enterprise will be a "money-spinner".
“I have the same feeling about this business as I did when I started [vehicle tracking company] Netstar,” Venter said.
“I was in the ICT industry for 27 years. This is a breath of fresh air. It’s a new industry with new people, but I can apply my years of ICT experience to create the most innovative sports betting website in the country,” he said, adding that the key requirements are the right technology and software platform, digital marketing and good management.
Venter revealed that he has hired the Creative Spark agency to handle digital marketing, and that his general manager will be Neil Walters, an experienced executive formerly with Sun International's online sportsbetting subsidiary SunBet.
ClickaBet has secured a licence from the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board that allows it to operate nationally.
Venter said that at this stage he has no plans to sell the business, but that as an exit strategy at some point it may be an attractive acquisition for local or international betting groups.
Venter remains a "significant" shareholder in Altron, which was founded fifty years ago by his father Bill and is managed by his brother Robbie.
The family has a 64 percent interest in the electronics giant, which has been beset by business difficulties in some of its subsidiaries in recent times, resulting in the share price declining by over 70 percent in the past three years