Date: 16.01.2024

by Mateusz Mazur

Winning through quality: how Altenar is succeeding in Eastern Europe’s demanding regulatory landscape

Sports betting software provider Altenar has made its mark on the Eastern side of the European Union, with its legacy in Bulgaria starting almost a decade ago. Here, Dinos Stranomitis, CCO at Altenar, reveals valuable insights into how the award-winning supplier navigates demanding, price-sensitive territories, including Bulgaria and Hungary, and why it prioritises a quality product over rapid expansion efforts.

Altenar has enjoyed strong growth in Bulgaria in 2023 – notably signing partnerships with Betmarket and PalmsBet. What learnings have you taken away from this year?

Bulgarian customers are discerning, with their standards among the highest in Europe. With less spending power than some of their neighbours, the quality of products is under constant scrutiny and we must continually innovate to keep their business.
Altenar has been live in Bulgaria since 2015 and we are a trusted provider with a long-standing reputation for excellence.

In the last nine years, we have established strong working relationships with many operators and the pressure to exceed expectations is crucial for our unwavering focus on standards. It is vital we keep our finger on the pulse of the country’s operators to succeed.

As with most markets across Europe, Bulgaria continues to grow, with consumers spending more as their economic power increases. This natural evolution sees more people enjoy sports betting and iGaming, with an increasing number viewing the sector as a valued entertainment source.

Hungary is approximately a decade behind Bulgaria in regards to sports betting regulation, only ending its state monopoly in January 2023. How has it been to secure partnerships in a newly-regulated market and have you enjoyed the growth you had expected?

On the surface, Altenar’s story in Hungary started last July when we went live with, but in truth, that partnership was under discussion for quite some time beforehand. At the moment, we have as the one operator partner in Hungary, with former sports betting state monopoly Szerencsejáték Zrt our main competitor.

What key differences have you observed between Hungary and Bulgaria, and are there any similarities? What trends have you seen in both markets?

The similarity between Hungary and Bulgaria is quite simple – in both countries there is a demand for an extremely high quality, robust product. Operators are demanding in both territories.

In regard to differences, Bulgarian regulation is more relaxed than Hungary, however certification can still be tough. The biggest difference is that in Bulgaria, there are several different operators, maybe 15 or more, whereas in Hungary there are currently only two, but with future growth looking promising.

What are your plans for Hungary and Bulgaria in the coming year?

In 2024, we will continue working to provide the highest quality, most current product for our Bulgarian and Hungarian partners. At the moment, we are not focused on trying to expand more with new partnerships but aiming to deliver a top-notch service to our existing partners. In Bulgaria, we need to ensure we continue to solidify our position as a leading provider, whereas in Hungary, we are still in the observation period. We are keeping a close eye on new developments and we will visit the region a number of times to assess the dynamics of the market so we are as knowledgeable about its needs as possible.

Additionally and as a matter of continuous effort for improvement Altenar’s data feed will be crucial to our growth. We have built our own price feed and that is already up and running. It is delivering strong results and this gives us a lot of confidence and independence as a provider. This will make Altenar less dependent on other feed providers to deliver pricing and we want to deliver top-tier services, ideally built in-house.