MAR 5 DE JULIO DE 2022 - 02:41hs.
BIS 2021 / Sports Betting Operators

Physical stores, augmented reality, metaverse and 3D entered the discussion

To successfully crown the 1st Brazilian iGaming Summit, Alessandro Valente moderated an excellent panel on “Sports Betting Operators”. He received Fernando Garita (Betcris), João André Franco (EstrelaBet) and Juan José Mantese (Meridian) to analyze one of the topics that has most occupied discussions not only at BiS, but throughout society, since the activity is everywhere.

Alesssandro Valente, co-founder of Super Afiliados and organizer of BiS, commented on the great repercussion that the activity has in Brazil, as a way to introduce each of the panelists.

Thus, Fernando Garita, director of business development at Betcris, commented that the profile of the Brazilian player is different from that of other Latin countries. “Brazilians are much more active and get very involved in discussions about betting, as well as in the quest to understand odds and analyze all opportunities,” he commented.

Juan José Mantese, Director for Latin America at Meridian Gaming, agreed with Garita's description of the characteristics of the Brazilian player and added that he is increasingly professional and engaged, using all his skills throughout the betting process. “Furthermore, I would like to highlight that Brazil is well advanced in the most technical issues and payment methods, which facilitates the acquisition of customers and a good operation of any operator in the country,” he said.

Garita reinforced the need for Brazil to regulate sports betting “because then the market will grow exponentially. Today, without regulation, many operators have not arrived in the country. We see the example of Mexico, where regulation caused the sector to boom. Now, at BiS, with the indication of Gustavo Guimarães, from Secap, that the regulation will arrive soon, it will make even more operators arrive in the country to offer cutting-edge products,” he defined.

João André Franco, EstrelaBet's CEO, commented that for three years he worked in an offline betting segment, “but operating online, with clear and secure rules, gives the bettor all the certainty that he is on a secure site and that it will always protect him. Even so, I don't rule out the physical operation, but so that it can be an extra point of contact, of brand reinforcement and to add an extra option for the bettor," he analyzed.

Franco commented that the current online model has already taken hold and that the arrival of the bookmakers' offer is also a way to bring some of the workers closer to the legality and security that a operators guarantees.

Garita said that this issue is essential to further reinforce the confidence that sports betting already offers the market.

Juan Mantese commented that the physical format as it is common to see in London, with several betting shops on the streets, is not very common in Latin America. “But it is possible that one day this reality will change, as currently a physical point ends up operating only for withdrawing winning bets,” said the director of Meridian, which operates in 27 countries with physical points in several of them.

A store that is well-prepared to provide a range of customer services can thrive, but if it just keeps taking bets and making payments, it won't have much room to grow, he said.

Valente asked the panelists about the operations in other sports besides football, which is already widely explored, especially in Brazil.

Garita commented that Betcrs is in several markets where football is also the preferred sport, “but we have very interesting experiences with positive results in some jurisdictions with the offer of tennis, eSports and other less traditional sports. This is a trend due to the growth of activity and the offer of games, just as the metaverse is knocking on our door and topics related to this will soon be discussed, as well as virtual reality is already being considered by casino operators.”

The executive believes it will take time, "but I have no doubt that at some point the customer will enter a casino or a bookmaker digital in 3D, as if they were entering a physical casino," he commented.

Franco returned to the issue of eSports, which is “a betting vertical that will continue to grow. A few years ago, those who played a lot were nerds, but today those who don't play are late. The eSports generation is betting and at the same time the activity itself is a betting market that still has plenty of room to grow. Operators will need to learn to speak better with this audience to offer them a good betting experience.”

Juan Jose said that Meridien still sees football as the most important sport, but points out that especially in the United States, American football stands out and even in other jurisdictions there is also a lot of interest in this sport. “We can't forget, but eSports and table tennis started to grow with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown caused this and operators realized the possibility of expanding their offers to serve this segment,” he recalled.

Valente said that operators are responsible for developing new betting modalities. “You are generators of demand for new offers,” he decreed. The moderator asked the panelists about how customer service has been developed in Brazil, as operators have not always tropicalized their operations.

Garita said that tropicalization is fundamental and without it, the sportsbook will have problems. “Our Brazilian customers want to clear their doubts or speak to us in their native and well-attended language. That's what we offer and that's where the bettor will be. Some European houses have tried to come to Latin America without this concept and have not progressed in the market,” he compared.

Franco reinforced that this is an extremely important area and, “since we are in Brazil, the operation and customer service is easier. Even so, we always seek to improve our services and ensure that customer service always exceeds their expectations. That's how you win a client and EstrelaBet adopts this philosophy to grow in the country.”

“Tropicalization is a must, as well as local customer service is essential for gaining and retaining customers, as well as fast, secure and reliable payment methods,” determined Juan Jose.

Valente asked how the migration or acquisition of customers who enter to place bets and start to use casino offers happens.

Garita commented that Betcris has tools and actions to win over casino game players who have entered the site to make sports bets. “Some end up betting on casino offers as well, but we have a CRM focused on attracting our customers to the casino area as an additional entertainment offer,” he said.

Juan Jose stated that in the case of Meridian, only 10% of customers are in the two verticals. “It is not easy to cross-selling, as they are very different audiences. So much so that we treat it this way, with different service teams and marketing actions focused on each of the verticals,” he said.

Source: GMB