Monday, July 23, 2012 : FORMER EA EXEC IS DRIVING TIPICO
Online betting group is committed to remaining based in Malta, says Jan Bolz
The Malta-based and German-owned online betting group Tipico featured in a profile published by the Times of Malta Sunday, which reported that the firm is set to double its business within the next three years as it taps into new e-gaming opportunities internationally.
CEO Jan Bolz, a former Electronic Arts executive, told the newspaper that the recent Euro 2012 football championship had enabled Tipico to deliver its best month yet, with revenues up 70 percent.
“Tipico is in Malta for good,” Bolz said: “We are not planning to relocate any function from the island. Even if we expanded into the US in the long-term, we would not change anything about our headquarters here.”
Bolz said the company is to double its workforce in Malta, employing two hundred locals by next year. It set up shop in Malta in 2004 due to legal difficulties and uncertainties in Germany, and has since applied for licensing in Italy and Denmark as those markets liberalised, and is preparing to file applications in Austria and Belgium.
Bolz has management experience in the entertainment industry and hopes to leverage this in the sports betting industry.
“Fast-growing industries are more fun,” he said. "I hope to use my background in entertainment, particularly games, to grow new business models at Tipico. There is potential in various target groups in the sports betting industry.”
Tipico is currently talking to half a million customers in Germany, where 30 million people viewed Euro 2012 last month, Bolz told the newspaper.
The company aims to win 10 percent of the 29.5 million football fans not on its books – football makes up 80 percent of Tipico’s betting business – while building a larger international market share.
The company’s long-term strategy is to diversify its business as it seeks to tap the synergies and cross-marketing opportunities in the games and betting sectors over the next five years.
Tipico’s growth in Malta comes with some challenges, Bolz pointed out. Specialised software developers and engineers are in short supply around the world, and the shortage is acute in Malta. The company has a plan to address at least part of this problem by offering internships to local tertiary educational bodies.