Betbull Gearing Up for Madrid Launch

2 December 2008

Betbull Holding S.E. said it is gearing up for its Spanish betting-shop debut with Bwin Interactive Entertainment A.G. in the first quarter of 2009. In the coming years the two have plans to roll out an undisclosed number of shops across the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Betbull said in its nine-month results today.

Betbull, which began as a joint venture between Bwin and Fun Technologies Inc., reported net gaming revenue of 11.7 million, up 19 percent on the prior-year period.

That revenue was derived from Germany -- presently, the company’s only income-generative market.

“The group has managed to achieve steady growth and stable trading results (in Germany) despite the unfavourable legislative environment,” it said.

Meanwhile, hopes are high for Spain, the other market the company plans to serve on an exclusive basis going forward.

“Betbull has identified itself as a strong and credible betting retailer by its presence in the Spanish market, being one of only four licensed betting operators to date in the Province of Madrid,” Simon Bold, chief operating officer, said in the results statement. “Early signs in the Spanish market are very promising and we see this market as the most exciting opportunity in Europe at the moment. “

Betbull, which obtained its Madrid betting license in October, will operate with Bwin in Madrid under the “w1nners” brand. In previous stock-exchange statements, Betbull has said it expects to take it first bet there before calendar yearend.

The Betbull-Bwin joint venture will operate alongside Victoria Apuestas S.A., the joint venture between William Hill and Codere S.A.; Sportium, the joint venture between Cirsa Gaming Corporation S.A.; and Apuestas Oé, operated by Intralot España.

Madrid license applications are still pending for Austria’s Novomatic A.G. and Admiral Sportwetten G.m.b.H.

While Betbull has not made explicit any desire to launch online in Madrid, Santiago Asensi, a partner at Asensi Abogados in Palma de Mallorca, told IGN online betting is allowed there.

For the period, Betbull made a loss after tax of 1.2 million euros.

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.