One of the most exciting topics surrounding iGaming are emerging markets and the opportunities that lie within them. At present, we’re hearing a lot about the African and Latin American markets, two regions of the world that have been on the radar for several years but have not been ripe for entering until just recently. Both markets have actually earned the right to dedicated iGaming conferences in 2016 such as the Africa Briefing, Sports Betting East and West Africa, the Brazilian Gaming Congress and Juegos Miami.
BtoBet is a sportsbook and gaming platform provider using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver the best results possible to their customers. Alessandro Fried, BtoBet’s CEO, recently spoke at the Sports Betting East Africa event on multichannel retail solutions and announced his company’s entry into the regulated Colombian market in April. I spoke with Fried about the massive opportunities available and the potential for gaming companies in Africa and also touched on his experience in Latin America so far.
Becky Liggero: Thank you for joining me today, Alessandro. What are some of the signs highlighting the potential of mobile and internet gambling in Africa?
Alessandro Fried: In growing markets such as the African demographic, the government has steadily invested in undersea fiber-optic cables and infrastructures, and data related to the mobile and smartphones users – particularly in Nigeria, Egypt and East Africa – Kenya and Tanzania – are overwhelmingly positive. Kenya is home to about 36 million mobile users and Tanzania counts about 33 million mobile users. Mobile penetration in Africa is 79%, + 28% compared with the 51% world’s trend.
Studies say that by 2018, the mobile betting market in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya would have reached $37 billion. The potential become even more interesting if we consider all the other African areas.
In this environment, land based retailers can’t stay indifferent to the changing market and have to start moving quickly to Mobile and Online. The ideal tool is an intelligent platform, that allows the natural evolution of physical bet-shop into intelligent shops, integrating web and physical stores by giving the opportunity to finally understand players’ behavior while playing and set marketing and business strategies.
BL: Those are some impressive numbers and is seems like mobile is the golden opportunity here. So what are some of the reasons why is mobile is a more prominent platform than desktop in Africa?
AF: The lack of fast internet connections in Africa drives people towards mobile, with the majority of users accessing the internet solely on mobile devices. In this regard trends demonstrate that Africa seems to have mostly “skipped” the desktop generation.
We have also to consider that bettors’ behavior has changed, SMS-payments are wide spread in Africa for all users through mobile, MTN or PESA-style payment gateways.
BL: Ok, so with all the nuances of this market considered, why is the BtoBet platform a good fit for emerging markets such as Africa?
AF: The African evolving market requires a suitable platform and fitting software technology that enable operators to manage player data and gambling-related business anywhere, from Shop to Mobile and Online.
BtoBet’s next-level omnichannel platform – B Neuron – offers players the best possible experience and operators the greatest insight into their player behavior to drive revenues. BtoBet’s sophisticated software allows retailers to implement flexible and interoperable systems, growing accordingly the growth of their business. It is multi-currency, multi-jurisdictions and multi-brand. It enables operators to manage their business content everywhere – that means players will be able to bet through all mobile and online devices.
BL: Latin America is another promising emerging market for iGaming and you have a presence in Colombia- can you tell me how things are going in this market so far?
AF: Following the example of positive results obtained in Brazil – Argentina – Chile as a consequence of their push to regulate their own market, Colombia’s new online gaming regulations represents an important step towards a new era for legal Gaming and Sportsbetting industry and BtoBet is engaged to be part of it.
We aim to assist South American operators with their development of marketing strategies for players/bettors through our platform. At the moment perspective are promising.
We took part to FADJA tradeshow last April and during the event BtoBet announced the signing of an agreement with 24Win that is allowing both firms expand into the Colombian and Latin American markets. 24Win will be soon the first “.co” employing B-Neuron. In Fadja we met a lot of operators who will integrate our tools in the next months.
BL: Excellent, we look forward to watching your continued progress in Latin America and Africa and thank you for your time today, it is much appreciated.