Interview with Leon Hosking of ApolloBet (Part Two of Three)

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The UK-facing brand ApolloBet is a relatively recent addition to the online sports-betting vertical. The highly diverse brand also offers players an online casino and international lotteries. We recently chatted with Leon Hosking (photo, left), ApolloBet’s Director of Sportsbook & Online Gaming, to discuss the state of iGaming, the ApolloBet brand and its recently-launched affiliate programme.In the first part of our Q&A with Leon, he discussed the verticals ApolloBet operates in. In part two, Leon discusses the brand’s own journey and ApolloBet’s plans for 2015.

Income Access (IA): Can you tell us about the evolution of ApolloBet as a brand, Leon.

Leon Hosking (LH): We launched ApolloBet in June 2011. We were reacting to a need for niche sports-betting markets. We’d worked in the industry and saw there were areas in sportsbook that were being overlooked by the bigger firms – markets like snooker, rugby, boxing and UFC. So we created a brand that catered to these niche markets and also to the traditional markets like football and horseracing.

Following strong growth, the next big step for us came in April 2013 when we re-launched our sportsbook on a BoyleSports platform. Then six weeks later we re-launched our online casino. Everything about the new site has been great, diversifying our brand into over 150 markets and enhancing its live-betting functionality. ApolloBet’s in-play betting is just phenomenal.

IA: What makes the ApolloBet brand special, Leon?

LH: Unlike the big sportsbook firms, we’re focused on both major markets like football and horseracing and niche markets. Snooker, rugby and boxing are still massively important for us. In addition, of course, we’ve also got a full suite of online casino games – slots and table games – as well as international lotteries.

We’re also incredibly focused on the customer experience and making it as good for players as possible. At ApolloBet, we’re all about giving customers the personal touch.

IA: ApolloBet’s a very diverse brand, Leon. Can you tell us a little about  the player profiles you’re seeing for the different verticals you cover?

LH: Sportbook-wise it’s massively varied. Horseracing attracts older players mainly, though generally sportsbook customers for sports like football tend to be younger.

When it comes to our online casino, our player-base is really diverse – a player could be literally anyone.  We’re seeing all ages of players and a relatively high percentage of women. The same goes for our lotteries, where we’re seeing a lot of older women playing.

IA: Are you seeing much convergence between the different verticals you operate in?

LH: Most players prefer a specific vertical, though we are seeing some convergence. For example, you get lottery players who try a spin on a slot in our casino, or a football punter playing in the casino in-between games.

ApolloBet’s actively working to increase convergence. We’re sending sportsbook players promotions to play in our casino and had success in this area.

IA: Talking of promos, can you tell us about recent promotions ApolloBet’s been providing for players, Leon?

LH: Sure, we’re always doing player promotions. We do weekly offers for existing players. We provide best-odds guaranteed on all major sporting events. ApolloBet also has a lot of money-back offers for horseracing events. For football, we do these double odds promos if players first goal-scorer bet wins in the first 20 minutes of play.ApolloBetOur main promos, though, are our new account promotions. When players sign-up with us, we give them £50 in free bets. We’ve also been doing massive enhanced offers for new customers. For example, back in early December we were offering 3/1 for either Man City or Liverpool to win a match, and 4/1 for Man United to beat Liverpool or 7/1 for the reverse in a match later the same month (see banner, right).

IA: How important is mobile to the ApolloBet brand?

LH: It’s really important – the industry’s definitely moving towards mobile play. Currently, more than 30% of our players are coming via tablets and smart phones – and we expect that to increase massively going forward. At ApolloBet, we have three different mobile options: an iOS app, an Android app and the mobile web.

IA: Do you have any upgrades planned for the ApolloBet platform?

LH: After the Cheltenham Festival in late March, we’ll be rolling out new upgrades for our site, including new live-betting markets. I won’t go into all the details, just say that the changes will really improve players’ experience.

IA: Thanks, Leon.

Tomorrow, in the final part of our Q&A with Leon Hosking, he discusses the recently-launched ApolloBet affiliate programme. If you have any questions about the brand in the meantime, please contact Leon.