With 11 own certifications and six supplier licenses, Pragmatic Play has products available in Europe and Asia, and is now looking to expand in Latin America, under the command of Victor Arias, and in Africa. According to Arias, the company created a hub with a local team, called “Centro da América Latina”, in charge of serving partners locally in their own language and time zone. “Each country has its own culture and, in many cases, is different from the rest. We support all languages, including Portuguese, of course. That goes for currencies, too,” he says. According to him, the goal is "to expand our coverage to the rest of the region and that includes Brazil, where I am happy to say that we will soon arrive."
GMB - First of all, we would like to know more about your experience in the gaming sector and your appointment as Pragmatic Play's Vice President for Latin America.
Victor Arias - It is a pleasure to have this opportunity with the prestigious Game Magazine Brasil. I think the work done informing all of us within the industry about the developments in the market is great. We are all expecting what could be the biggest regulation movement in the Latin American region, an area of +200 million people with an exciting entertainment culture.
“Love What You Do, Do What You Love”: that’s exactly what happens between me and the gaming industry. I enjoy every challenge, every adventure, every learning lesson; and I am always thankful for the great friends and for an amazing journey which today I can call “my professional career.
It was back in 1998 in Costa Rica, huge call centres with dozens of representatives taking bets over the phone. Saturdays and Sundays were key, you really have to feel the adrenaline generated by enthusiasts placing their bets minutes before the football game starts. That’s where my passion started.
The years passed and I decided to explore other markets, jurisdictions, and other companies. I had the privilege to work for well-known brands performing different positions in both B2C and B2B sectors.
During the last years I have focused on learning and conquering the different cultures in the Latin American region. I lived in different countries and cities across the continent, hence I am proud to say that this provided me with a solid industry background and a wide network.
Pragmatic Play is a respected and known company in the industry experimenting growth and expansion with a very professional team behind the wheel. My main objective is to lead the LatAm Hub as part of the company’s expansion plan, a challenge that captured my attention and now represents an honor to be part of.
Tell us about Pragmatic Play, its experience and how the company positions itself today in the LatAm market.
Pragmatic Play is a company which brings to the market a multi-product platform trough a single API integration, all the products are developed in-house. Today we have more than 200 games including slots, scratch cards and table games. We also have a state-of-the-art Live Casino studio built with the highest technology standards facilitating both the operator and end user a great user experience. The portfolio also includes a multi-player bingo platform and, coming up soon, our virtual sports product. In brief, we are talking about 6 verticals delivered to the gaming operator with a single API – one integration brings the possibility of having all the products available in record time.
Our technology is flexible and is known that Latin America can never be seen as one market only. Every country has its own culture and, in many cases, different from the rest. We support all languages including Portuguese, of course. Same goes with currencies. Localising the product for each market is not a problem for us.
We are now live and available in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia and soon to be activated in the Dominican Republic market. Part of my job is to expand our coverage to the rest of the region, and this includes Brazil where I am happy to say we will be live soon.
In which jurisdictions is Pragmatic present today and how does it serve such different markets?
Our games are certified for 11 different regulations including Colombia and we hold supplier licenses for 6 jurisdictions, our products are today available across Europe, Asia and currently expanding of course in Latin America and Africa.
As commented before, since the integration of our platform includes all our products, then it’s a joint work to activate those which are compliable according to the operator’s requirements based on the jurisdiction where licensed.
We know that Latin America is becoming regulated, we support that, and we are very much in favor of such.
How will Pragmatic Play work in order to create the necessary identification with the Latin market?
We are already working on that, we have created the “Latin American Hub”, a local team which will deliver the region localization, a work force in charge of servicing our partners locally in their own language and time zone.
Our team today consists of 2 representatives in charge of sales and business development based in Colombia and Peru and I based in Argentina. We will continue adding more people in charge of different functions in the coming weeks.
What are the main competitive advantages of Pragmatic Play?
There are many reasons:
Do you consider that online gambling, with thousands of websites, live casinos and sports betting is the future of the sector?
Let’s face it, we are all utilizing online platforms to take care of our personal needs, ordering food, buying our clothes, doctor’s appointments, booking our vacations, even to close deals which include important financial investments. Internet is part of our lives and in many cases convenient for a lot of us, as it also includes personal entertainment on the likes of online gambling.
A lot of us have visited a physical casino and played a blackjack hand or tried luck with spin on slot machine captured by the excitement of the casino environment and hoping to hit the jackpot. The experience of visiting a land-based casino will not change or disappear in my opinion, instead will be complemented by having the possibility to access this experience from anywhere in the world from a computer, laptop or any portable device. That’s what the online experience means for the industry.
What do you think about the Brazilian market, currently so closed by the prohibition of the activity?
Brazil itself represents the biggest market in the region with a huge potential, I am sure everybody out there is in the same position I am, waiting for the regulation frame to come up with all its respective requirements for us provider companies to comply and participate.
For many years, the regulation of the sector has been thought in Brazil. Do you think that we are closing than ever to finally get it?
As a friend said, “I would like to have the crystal ball to have an answer for that question”, I don’t know if we are or not close to it, we all expect and are ready for new developments to come up.
Do you think that Pragmatic Play games will be successful in Brazil? How do you see the company in the near future within the local market?
Yes, of course! We have amazing products and we are in active discussions with operators looking into the Brazilian market excited to have our games for their customers.
Once again, our games are developed thinking on giving the user the best entertainment experience and I am positive Brazilians will enjoy and love our games. Those reading this and not yet in contact with us please reach out to me, I will be more than happy to discuss!
What is your message for the Latin market and specifically for Brazil?
After so many years studying the region, seeing how it changes and mature, today I am confident to say that we became a priority on the biggest operators’ to-do lists. This is bringing opportunities and challenges for all of us, so let’s take advantage of this smartly. Let’s continue working hard on professionalism and never forget about offering the best entertainment experience to the market.