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Sergey Portnov: “Cyprus is a Great Place for our Headquarters”

Sergey Portnov: “Cyprus is a Great Place for our Headquarters”

Sergey Portnov, CEO of Parimatch, spoke to GOLD about the reasons behind his decision to set up the company’s headquarters in Cyprus, the challenges that lie ahead and the company’s future plans.


Headquarters in Cyprus

“We believe that Cyprus is a great place for our headquarters as we continue to expand into the European market. As well as having a significant number of Russian speakers, Cyprus has a strong business community and good regulatory conditions for us to operate in. The decision to expand the business internationally was exciting but, at the same time, daunting. I believe the main reason we successfully relocated in such a short amount of time was because we employed the right people with deep knowledge and vast experience of establishing new teams, who were up for the challenge. At Parimatch, we consider our people to be our biggest asset and the main driver of growing the business. This is why it was very important to us that our employees relocating to Cyprus were given as much help and guidance during the move as possible. Our HR Manager coordinated the whole process, from securing work permits to finding schools for our employees` children. Today, we are proud to offer our employees a world-class office environment, with all the amenities you would expect from an international business.”


Future plans

“We have big plans to invest in our communications function, operating out of our Cyprus headquarters, including marketing and client communications. We currently have no plans to open betting shops in Cyprus for now and are, instead, focusing on our online platform. Parimatch believes that further expansion in Cyprus is possible if the Government introduces online casino licensing, which would provide an alternative to the licensing currently offered in Malta.”


The challenges

“The experience of relocating our headquarters to Cyprus has been broadly positive but it did come with its challenges. Any company looking to relocate faces the same issues: finding a suitable new office, good transport links, fast Internet and accommodation for relocated employees. We believe these problems could be made easier by the construction of high-quality business parks. Should the Cypriot Government choose to make the attracting of investors by building such business parks a priority, we believe that more companies would choose to locate here.

Cyprus has lots of similarities with other jurisdictions Parimatch has invested in. As in other geographies, we are in constant contact with the regulator, the National Betting Authority (NBA). The challenge that we face in Cyprus is that sometimes government agencies can be slow to provide the necessary approvals, so that is a factor for such a fast-moving company like Parimatch. That said, we are sure that improvements will follow and Parimatch, as a professional business, is open to helping the Government in any way it possibly can.”   


About Parimatch

Parimatch is an international betting platform which connects emerging markets with the world of traditional and niche betting. Our company has over 1,600 employees worldwide, supporting almost two million customers and covering more than 20 sports and 60 countries, and 600 sporting events every day. Our brand has been established for over 25 years and now operates in several markets including Cyprus, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Tanzania. We are a young and ambitious business and both qualities have helped Parimatch succeed in the marketplace. Parimatch is also an official partner of the UFC in the EMEA region and, in February, we signed Conor McGregor as our official brand ambassador in the CIS and Cyprus. We believe that Parimatch has the fighting spirit in its DNA, which drives us forward as we aim to hold and grow our leading position in the CIS region, and expand further into international markets.”


The interview was first published in GOLD Magazine (April issue)


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