May 14, 2021 Land-Based, Interview

All The Ingredients

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Andrea Rossi, Betsson Group’s commercial director for Southern Europe and LatAm, discusses Latin America’s rapid growth, outlining key considerations across the region’s many markets.

Why do you believe LatAm has such great potential?

LatAm is a fragmented region where countries differ in many ways and each one has its own peculiarities and quirks. Land-based casinos are very popular across the region and there’s a strong gaming culture among the population. Over the last few years, we’ve seen internet access become far more widespread, as well as an increase in mobile usage and the development and improved availability of local online payment solutions.

All of this suggests the region is maturing and becoming very appealing for online gambling operators. For example, Mexicohas had a framework in place for many years now while Colombia became the first LatAm country to regulate online gambling back in 2016, and has since recorded 70% market growth year-on-year.

We’re also seeing the biggest countries in terms of population and economies, Argentina and Brazil, now regulating online gambling. I believe LatAm has all the ingredients to become one the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world.

 

How do you decide which markets to target first?

We have a clear global expansion strategy, and we understand that for an effective prioritisation of each market it's important to assess each market’s potential. This includes determining benefits vs risks, analyzing the regulatory framework, looking at the level of gaming taxes, checking all the technical requirements and coming up with the best way to successfully penetrate that region.

We then base our decision on the result of this internal process, which directly involves the Group’s board, operational management and several areas of the organization, from strategy to finance, legal and compliance, commercial and operations.

 

What are some of the key considerations for each market?

Entering a new market requires us to take into consideration several aspects and deep dive into different indicators such as political conditions, economic situations, internet and mobile technologies, penetration and more. Additionally, it’s very important to assess the market’s banking environment and its access to online payment solutions. This also gives a rather good indication of whether a market is digitally ready or whether it requires the support of a retail-based business model.

 

How do you identify the most suitable land-based partner, if required?

Due to the differences among markets in LatAm, I see it as necessary to team up with local operators to fully embrace culture, earn trust and understand gaming behaviours to be successful. Lately, Betsson has been very active in the region and we have launched into several markets. In Brazil, Colombia and a province of Buenos Aries in Argentina, we have partnered with local organizations that live and breathe the market.

Partners usually have different gaming backgrounds, but they all possess a great understanding of their local market. Moreover, they are ambitious, passionate about what they do and know what is required to become and remain successful. From Betsson’s side, we provide these partners with our technology, our online gaming experience in multiple markets, and we also give them all our know-how
on what it takes to be an online gaming operator.

 

Do regulatory requirements determine market entry? If so, how?

Yes, they do. Speed to market is a key factor to consider and what I mean by that is we need to look at the technical requirements needed to adapt to the regulations in place. Some requirements might need extensive technical development to be fully compliant, and we need to see whether we can fit that effort into our timelines or whether it would clash with existing business initiatives. Sometimes to mitigate possible delays, we are flexible enough to use third-party platforms to speed up market entries and, if it makes sense, migrate to our technology at a later stage.

 

How do you localise your offering in each market?

Localization is an important part of our strategy in LatAm. Games of chance, sportsbook and payments localization is all made from Betsson HQ in Malta, where we have access to the data and analytics required to properly localize our proposition. Our local partners and suppliers are also key in the process. They provide knowledge and indications on what works best in each market and their insight influences our offering.

 

Do regulatory requirements determine market entry? If so, how?

Yes, they do. Speed to market is a key factor to consider and what I mean by that is we need to look at the technical requirements needed to adapt to the regulations in place. Some requirements might need extensive technical development to be fully compliant, and we need to see whether we can fit that effort into our timelines or whether it would clash with existing business initiatives. Sometimes to mitigate possible delays, we are flexible enough to use third-party platforms to speed up market entries and, if it makes sense, migrate to our technology at a later stage.

 

How do you localise your offering in each market?

Localization is an important part of our strategy in LatAm. Games of chance, sportsbook and payments localization is all made from Betsson HQ in Malta, where we have access to the data and analytics required to properly localize our proposition. Our local partners and suppliers are also keyin the process. They provide knowledge and indications on what works best in each market and their insight influences our offering.

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