After moderating the “Understanding and Reaching LatAm Players” panel last week at SBC’s Barcelona Digital Summit and with SiGMA LatAm coming up next week, the exciting LatAm iGaming market is predictably on my mind.
The current COVID situation has nudged gambling companies around the world who have yet to jump on the digital bandwagon and jurisdictions that have yet to regulate and bring in much those needed tax dollars. While devastating in so many regards, perhaps 2020 will be recognized as the year when the Latin America gambling industry truly took off.
“Its not a miracle that Latin America is pushing hard during these times. Its because the Latin American region has been run a lot by the land based business, a lot of the evolution to the digital business has been unfortunately but also fortunately pushed by the COVID reality”, BetGames.TV LatAm Sales Director Eddie Morales shared with me.
Morales went on to explain that BetGames.TV has a strong B2B live casino offering for Latin American operators, providing a unique opportunity to cross-sell between online sports betting and casino games.
“We offer in a number of markets virtual games that are really appealing for a lot of the players that already are using sports book. Sports betting is hugely popular in Latin America, the mechanics of working with a fixed odds model really makes us very successful in the cross-selling of our product”, he pointed out.
“We can say that 80% of our players at least are also sports book players…[the games] have the same mechanics that you make a bet on a sports book event and just basically you bet on a different event- its streamed directly from our studios”, Morales added.
Throughout 2019, Morales spent a huge amount of time in Latin America, traveling around to different industry events in the region and meeting face-to-face with current and potential partners. Unfortunately, as we all know, 2020 has put a damper on our global travel and in-person events due to COVID, but Morales is still pushing on and growing the BetGames.TV LatAm footprint in other ways.
“Obviously its all about relationships. Relationships build even if you don’t see people face-to-face. It takes a bit longer, but they still are happening”, he said.
“We kept on growing our relationships, the word of mouth of our product is the biggest and most valuable tool we have on hand these days, apart from the advertising or the press we get from media”, Morales revealed.
“I must admit that a lot of the customer-to-customer recommendation has been working tremendously for us and also I must say that we work with a large number of partners on which our products are aggregated or integrated, so we’ve kept growing by also strengthening these strategic alliances with aggregators or platforms that we were already working with”, he added.
When asked what Latin American regions excite him the most, Morales smiled and responded with, “I think all of them excite me, to be honest”.
Naturally Morales is cognizant of the regions where he’s currently making the most sales, but what really, truly excites him are the regions with potential for the BetGames.TV product in the future.
“The biggest excitement for almost everyone you will ask for in terms of potential would be Brazil because Brazil is a continent within a continent and basically the whole of the country has the population – the culture the identity – that really makes a big difference with the rest of Latin America”, he said.
“Brazil is the most exciting prospect, but also I would say that Colombia is really, really interesting for us right now because we are going to be certifying our products under the live casino recently regulated category”, Morales revealed.
“Colombia I would say is the most complete, regulated market in the continent. It will be also setting up a good stepping stone for the rest of the regulated markets to come”, he said.
“And at the moment we are already working very good with some partners in especially Peru and Mexico”, he added.
BetGames.TV has a presence in plenty of markets in addition to LatAm and strives to provide all partners with flexibility in adjusting their offerings to meet the needs of a particular audience. Morales also explained how customers around the globe are calling for fast-past games which is exactly what his company is providing.
“We’ve seen that customers really appeal to have faster paced games and its a reality, this is happening a lot all over the world, no differences between Latin America, Africa, Europe. Faster paced games are really showing the best results for the operators and for us”, he said.
When it comes to game preferences of the Latin American player vs. the rest of the world, Morales broke it down by retail and online.
“I must say that for the retail players that we have data on, our lottery-based games are the most popular ones, but if you go to the online players, there is more of a mix”, he shared.
“Lottery themed games still do very good, but depends on the country. Poker games are very popular, wheel of fortune is a very classical game that’s been played forever and is also very liked, or even the dice dual game that we have”, Morales said.
“So it differs from country to country, but I will say that poker and lottery games are the most popular ones”, he added.