Adrian Vella is president of U.S. businesses at Tipico Group. As the chief executive leading market expansion in the Americas, he currently oversees the entire business and sportsbook/casino operation from the German company's U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.
A veteran of the sports betting and online gaming industries, Adrian has spent the last seven years with Tipico Group, and previously held leadership positions at Betsson Group and UBS Investment Bank.
TopNJCasinos (TNJC): With your first entry into the United States in the Garden State a couple of months ago, how was the company start here toward last year and as you enter a new year?
Adrian Vella: As tough as 2020 was for so many, especially in our industry with an up and down sports schedule, the year really was a milestone one for Tipico in the U.S., and we’re just getting started.
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In 2020 we established our fundamentals: New Jersey headquarters, a brand-new office in Hoboken, expanded our staff significantly, gained our license from the DGE, and launched our U.S. brand and proprietary new sportsbook app for the U.S. market.
We’ve got two months of NFL action in our system, and with NBA and NCAA hoops in full swing, plus golf, fighting sports and now MLB just around the corner, we are feeling really good about our operations and technology.
New Jersey bettors have really responded to our app, with betting handle and new FTD numbers rising for the book every week since launch with very little marketing spend. We’re gearing up for a big Super Bowl week and an even bigger March, with new betting features and lots of new unique promos.
TNJC: What do you think are Tipico’s biggest strengths and what are its obstacles in a state where there are 20 or so mobile betting apps?
AV: With decades of global sports betting experience, we have a good handle on what today’s mobile bettors want, and a hardcore passion for sports is in our DNA. Tipico is one of the few companies on the B2C side of the industry using our own end-to-end proprietary technology stack and trading team, and that allows our guys to be nimble and quick to market with new product features, new sports/markets, new bet types and new promotions to keep users engaged.
In fact, just in time for Super Bowl LV, we’re offering our database and new users a market-leading bonus offer: 100% deposit match up to $750, with lower-than-average turnaround requirements.
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We believe bettors in New Jersey will view this as the best new user welcome offer on the market.
TNJC: Are there any plans in the works to open a brick-and-mortar sportsbook here in NJ and do you plan on expanding into other states in the next six months?
AV: For now, especially in New Jersey, we’re focused on mobile users - we see this as the present and future preference for most consumers. But as the sports betting market leader in Germany, retail excellence is certainly in our DNA, and we are open to strategic opportunities in our market access discussions for current and new states.
We’ve had a handful of interesting discussions on this front, particularly around building a flagship retail location.
TNJC: What are Tipico’s three most important goals it wants to achieve in 2021?
AV: First and foremost, our goal is to get the Tipico app into the hands of as many New Jersey sports bettors as we can. We’re confident that once they try our fast, clean app and sharp lines, they’ll stick around.
Next, we’re preparing our entire operation for multi-state expansion, with our launch in Colorado just around the corner. We’re also finalizing new partnership deals for market access in additional states that will launch in 2021, while also having broader discussion on new states for 2022 and beyond.
And of course, we’re also very excited to launch our standalone Tipico Casino app to the New Jersey market in early 2021, which will feature a seamless user account experience and wallet with our sportsbook app.