Digitain, a leading European sports betting platform developer, online casino aggregator and in-house live casino studio, is strengthening its presence in Latin America, with the appointment of Luis de Prat as the new LatAm regional manager.
In June, to reaffirm the commitment to the region and to get even closer to the Brazilian market, the executive will be present at BiS - Brazilian iGaming Summit, the main gaming and betting event in Latin America.
The executive has more than 20 years of experience in the sector with successful passages through casinos in the US and operators in Spain, the country where he was born and even collaborated with the creation of the regulation of online gambling.
In addition to delving into the company's strong interest in expanding in Brazil, in this interview, de Prat talks about his arrival at the company, the GLI certifications, Digitain's presence at SAGSE, GAT and ICE trade shows, and the new live casino division that is already a success.
Games Magazine Brasil - You took on your new role as Latam Sales Manager for Digitain very recently. Tell us a little about your experience and what goals do you have for the region?
Luis de Prat - Having always worked in gaming, joining Digitain has been an exciting continuation after more than two decades in this business. I first worked for pari-mutuel wagering operators in the USA with Churchill Downs, and in the Caribbean with Equus Gaming. In Spain, I managed wagering, bingo, and electronic lottery operations for CIRSA, and in 2008 I made the transition to online gaming, applying my experience to develop the popular Botemania brand in Spain for Gamesys, a UK operator. In 2011 I participated in the regulation of online gaming in Spain, representing content supplier Microgaming as country manager, and developed clients for the purchase of casino products for online gaming operations in both Spain and LatAm.
In this new role as LatAm Sales Manager, the main objective is to continue developing the Digitain brand and delivering online gaming and wagering solutions to operators in the Latin American region, while following the regulatory process in each market specifically. Much like happened in Europe, I think the markets in LatAm will progressively tend towards regulation, as we’ve already seen happen in Colombia and Argentina.
Perhaps due to cultural similarities with Spain and Portugal, I also believe that the land-based operators in the Latin American region will play a significant role in the digitalisation of the gaming and wagering business, adopting online solutions as complementary channels to their existing businesses, and progressively appealing to a less conventional and younger customer base that will diversify and give continuity to their businesses overall.
In this climate for change, we will continue to target both online brands and established gaming operators seeking to achieve a bigger footprint in their respective markets by entering the online space.
Where does Digitain place Latin America in its global business and what opportunities, or growth expectations do you find in the region?
Digitain is definitely not new to the region, and we have made inroads in various markets, with several interesting clients already in Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil, but this is just scratching the surface, and we are experiencing continued growth in the region, year on year.
Besides keeping abreast of the progress in Brazil regarding regulation, we also expect Chile to regulate and become an interesting market as well.
How do you see the particular situation of Argentina, Colombia, and Peru, which seem to be more advanced than the rest in terms of regulation?
Indeed, these countries’ governments appear to have acknowledged the concept of online gambling before the rest of the region. Colombia was the first to embrace regulation, and Argentina has followed suit.
Regulation levels the playing field for both operators and suppliers in terms of requirements, but this does not come without its challenges. As new markets regulate it is important that the decision makers are sensitive to the dynamics of the online gaming business and how certain factors affect both suppliers and licensed operators, such as when establishing the licence requirements, or how the gaming tax will be applied (i.e., on total wagering or on GGR), or whether it will be necessary to comply with requirements for ‘a safe’ (a centralised government depository for gameplay transactions) periodically.
What conclusions did you draw from your recent participation in GAT and SAGSE, and how did the return of “face or face” work with clients and potential ones?
After the pandemic put these trade show events on hold for two years, it was good to see both potential partners and fellow suppliers alike participating with renewed interest. For Digitain, our stand at GAT and SAGSE was well received not only as a branding exercise but more importantly we saw a good number of visitors stop and inquire about Digitain products.
From a branding perspective, Digitain is also achieving greater brand awareness, not only due to its participation in major Latin American events, including GAT and SAGSE, but also due to Digitain’s continued recognition within the industry, such as winning ‘Sports Betting Platform of the Year’ at the International Gaming Awards last April, and ‘Online Sportsbook Provider of the Year’ at the SIGMA Awards, in November 2021.
How did the market receive the new GLI certified iGaming platform and what feedback did you receive about it?
With GLI’s global reputation for world-class testing, and certification to the global gaming industry in jurisdictions all over the world, this certification speaks to the quality of the Digitain sportsbook and casino platform and is a great asset for our product portfolio.
Having both the GLI 19 and 33 certifications is no longer just nice to have, but with the growth in suppliers on the market, this certification is increasingly becoming a requirement to be competitive in the B2B online sports wagering and gaming solutions.
What does the Brazilian market represent for Digitain today? Is it already a reality or is it still a promise of huge business?
Although we have already made inroads in Brazil, this is still only the beginning of this market’s true potential for Digitain. However, this opportunity also has its challenges, which we are working to address, including the prevalence of land-based distribution channels, and the preference for localised content.
What Digitain services or products do you think are the best for operators to offer to Brazilian punters?
Digitain’s modular approach is well suited to the Brazilian market, as operators can adapt our solutions to meet their needs.
Specifically, both the Digitain sportsbook and our RGS Casino games aggregator are available to operators with existing player account platforms by means of an API integration. Thus, customers with existing platforms can still benefit from the award winning Digitain sportsbook without migrating their player base to a new solution, and also include over 75 casino content providers in their offering.
With an in-house trading staff of over 700 experts dedicated to compiling odds and managing risk for our clients and delivering over 90,000 monthly live events, Digitain’s sportsbook offering is second to none.
Can you imagine in the near future forming a special Digitain team for Brazil, including local representation of the brand installed in the country?
The sheer magnitude of the Brazilian market may certainly justify the need for a dedicated team at Digitain. We currently have made inroads with several clients in the market but there is great potential for growth. In terms of having local representation, I think it will depend largely on regulation of online gaming in the country and the economic climate for operators and suppliers once the regulatory process is completed.
What impact have the products you presented at ICE had and what result did you achieve attending London event?
This edition of ICE London for 2022 turned out to be one of the best for Digitain ever. Our stand received considerable attention with a good flow of visitors and our new products generated interest from attendees. A significant number of visitors were from Latin American markets, including Brazil.
The main highlight among the new products we showcased at ICE, was Centrivo, our premium, all-in-one, GLI-certified iGaming platform that provides operators with a high-capacity solution to run their online gaming business while giving them a broader toolset to customise their operation and really stand out from competitors.
Also presented at ICE were the new Digitain Live Casino vertical channel, featuring state-of-the-art studio production and competitive commercial terms, and the Virtual Sports products, including horse racing, greyhound racing, and football.
Is the new Live Casino division of Digitain emerging as a new success of the company? What are its main virtues and differentials compared to the competition?
Sports betting and Live Casino are complementary, and everyone at Digitain is very excited and proud of the new Live Casino vertical. It’s a complete in-house built product with detailed planning that involved the skills of many departments.
Finding differentials in the face of established specialised operators is not easy, however we believe that even at this early stage we have a number of USP’s to be proud of. Dealing American style Blackjack correctly, allowing double after split, and fantastic visualisation for the player when looking at their game history, are just a few.
We have a solid product base and an exciting road map ahead, and we will be putting a big focus on lasting partner relationships combined with competitive commercial plans.
Source: Exclusive GMB