The panel promoted reflection on the Latin American region and raised debates on the possibilities of creating synergies between strong digital and non-digital operations. Another important point raised was about customer behavior and the analysis of how gaming trends are growing in each country, as well as the most common challenges found in Latin American countries, such as payments and legislation.
And once again Brazil was in the spotlight during the panel “LatAm – A gem ready to be polished in the iGaming industry”, which had the participation of Roberto Regianini (FBMDS), Thomas Carvalhaes (Vai de Bob), Alessandro Valente (Super Afiliados), Diego Salas (Altenar) and Peter Murray (Check).
With the countless possibilities that Latin America has to offer in the field of iGaming, experts were unanimous in stating that the region has stood out and attracted the attention of players from all over the planet.
The panel reflected what reality has already shown, with the various countries in the region regulating sports betting and the challenges that some of them are experiencing, such as Peru, which has an ongoing project; Chile, which is also moving towards the regulation of betting; Colombia, where the sector is consolidated; and Brazil, waiting for the regulation of the activity.
Roberto Regianini, CEO of FBMDS, highlighted the importance of Brazil on the continent and how much online gambling is already consolidated in the country, although awaiting regulation. For him, it is essential that it happens as quickly as possible and that all global players should seek local partnerships to expand their presence in Brazil.
Another expert with great knowledge of the Brazilian market, Thomas Carvalhaes, director of Vai de Bob, declared that one cannot talk about a single market when approaching Latin America.
For him, each country in the region has its peculiarities and should be seen in this way when approaching the continent. “Latin America is very big and cannot be treated as a single market.”
About Brazil, he said that companies should see the country as a continent, multifaceted, but with great potential to become one of the most important in the world in the area of iGaming. “It is necessary to have a global vision with a focus on Brazilian intelligence. The gaming activity was banned in the 1940s, but it exists and is very strong. What is missing is to educate Brazilians about the new moment the country is experiencing in the area of betting, with video tutorials in order to consolidate the activity once and for all.”
Alessandro Valente, co-founder and CEO of Super Afiliados, highlighted the importance of local partners for operators interested in starting their activities in Brazil. “The Brazilian is very passionate about betting and should be in the focus of the big operators. They are still used to illegal gambling, but nothing changes their gambler profile. I just point out that even the support must be regional, since it is not enough for an operator to offer assistance in Portuguese language of Portugal. Brazilians want to be served in their own language, which is why localization is key to winning over customers,” he said.
Thomas Carvalhaes agreed with Valente's position by saying that understanding the local culture is fundamental, and reinforced that it is necessary to educate the “new player” even on how he should behave in front of a slot. “He needs to know how to play and location is the touchstone for his engagement. Without direct and local communication, it is difficult,” he said.
Colombia, which is already consolidated in the iGaming area, was the example that the panelists gave on how other Latin American countries should treat online gambling. Regianini pointed out that the country has done an excellent job, “much like the regulations existing in Spain”, which puts the Colombian market at the forefront of activity.
Carvalhaes endorsed the praise for the market and the online gambling regulation model in Colombia, “for me the best example in the region and a fantastic market.”
Diego Salas, from Altenar, took the opportunity to comment that Colombia is going through a delicate moment. “Although it was the first country in the region to regulate online, it is experiencing turbulence due to the increase in taxation of the activity. This is a problem, as bettors will be able to migrate to other markets with a lower tax burden,” he said.
To conclude, Peter Murray, from Check, highlighted the importance of regulatory entities being in tune with the best practices of markets regulated for a longer time and already consolidated. “It is important that regulators do the right things and have a single voice to protect the market,” he stated.