HOW AND WHEN DID YOU CREATE EFBET?
Tzvetomir: We’ve been in this business and in sports betting, in particular, even before 1990. It all started with our father and Toto 1. I remember he had a notebook where he would keep stats of English teams from the first, second, third, and fourth leagues. The notebook got renewed with each new season. You could find it all in the notebook: when the home team won it was highlighted with a black marker, a draw with a green marker, while the losses- regardless if for the home team or the away team, were marked with red. Losing game streaks, streaks without a draw or without wins were all kept track of. There were no odds back then and there was just a total of 13 matches played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, while a midweek slip was just 10 matches. Today you have bets incoming at every moment and every day.
Boyan: Yes, that was the beginning. We first created Eurofootball, while in 2006 we started efbet. It was the three of us, our father and us. Today we have more than 1200 employees.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THIS BUSINESS?
Tzvetomir: Having played Toto 1 all your life, there would be no other business to choose from.
Boyan: It’s genetically inherited. (laughs)
Tzvetomir: During weekends there were only friendly bets, matches, and watching live FC CSKA games. On Saturdays we would place our Toto bet and go to the stadium. There was a game of ‘Write, write’ that was played a lot. It involved betting ‘virtual money’ and people would make friendly bets with my father and place with him 10 or 20 Leva. Here’s how it all went down: the complete combination of 13 games and their outcomes would be equal to a bet of a few thousand leva (a single combination costed 10 stotinki/ 0.1 Leva) and since no one would possess that much money to place such a bet with the Toto, people would make a 10 leva bet with our father: that their predictions, which could hold one, two or three single outcome bets, or one or two double outcome bets, combined with all of the rest of the game outcome combinations (that would normally cost 1 300 leva), would be enough to return the initial amount bet. If the person got it right, he would win the bet, but if his accumulator would result in the equivalent of 1199 leva or less, my father would win.
If we would be hosting matches at the ‘Army’ stadium, we would follow the same ritual and first sit at a local restaurant called ‘Under the linden’ (’Pod Lipite’) , and go to the game afterwards. It seemed like that was the only restaurant with a charcoal grill in Sofia back then. And it was close to the stadium. On Sundays, we would listen to games. Yes, back then, one would ‘listen’ to the games on the radio.
Boyan: Only after we had done our homework first!
Tzvetomir: Yes, exactly. And it’s not that different today. We still watch games; we still go to the stadium. We just have the efbet business to run too.
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS LIKE TODAY?
Tzvetomir: On one hand, the business has changed, but from another perspective it seems the same. Today we enjoy math formulas, derivative tables, computers, systems and lots of information. No markers. Back then it was just the BBC- you keep your ears open at 6.55 when you sit next to the radio transmitter and hear quickly the outcomes of games in the four leagues in England. If you miss the opportunity to put down a result, you wait until the sports news at 7.15 or way later, at 10.00.
Boyan: Yes, so you could notify the people aboutthe result of the game.
Tzvetomir: We eventually created a telephone line that one could call and listen to a recording with the game results. We would note results down on the Eurofootball programme and that’s how one would know it all.
Boyan: Apart from that, my father would write the programme and the results, and stick it on the ‘Cafe Colombia’ glass.
Tzvetomir: Yes, and at the end of the day, you don’t have it much different nowadays – games, bets, and scores following. It’s simply on the internet.