August 25, 2021 Interview

Bringing happiness back to gaming

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Tigran Sharafyan, head of international offices at Digitain, speaks to Henry Moore about the company’s strategic vision for its Latin American offering, the GAT show in Colombia and how being able to reunite at trade shows has brought joy to the gaming industry.

What are some of the differences you have found when expanding throughout Latin America compared to Europe?  

The Latin America region is considered to be much bigger in terms of retail business. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of regulation throughout the area. Due to this, many operators prefer to use agent networks for on-boarding new customers. Betting shops also often work with an agent model and this allows companies to acquire new customers despite the lack of regulation found in Latin America. This lack of regulation still creates problems for operators.  

Separately in Latin America, more than any other region, we see an increasing tendency toward land-based operators trying to build their online brands. This can mainly be attributed to the pandemic, with government restrictions preventing land-based business functioning to their fullest. [Soccer] is also central to Latin America, so if we were to compare betting habits with North America, that would be a key difference.   

How does Latin American expansion fit Digitain’s long term business strategy?  

Latin America is a key region in terms of strategic expansion and as countries like Paraguay, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico embark upon the steps to regulate gaming, this creates new opportunities for our company. For example, Brazil is very close to passing its sports betting regulation and this will bring us opportunities in the biggest market in Latin America. In this respect I would like to say that soon Digitain will launch its fully functional commercial unit in Latin America, which will undoubtedly have a positive influence on our brand awareness, as well as making traveling easier for us to meet our potential partners. We will launch our sales team and then management, which will help us support our partners more effectively. In the future we’ll also add customer support.  

With that in mind, which of your services do you see as key in Latin American expansion? What market trends and influences have shown you this?  

The product that we are excited for in Latin America is certainly our sportsbook solution, for which we maintain around 700 in-house traders, with around 1,700 employees in total. Given that the Latin American population loves sports, we see our sportsbook as having potential to become our key revenue driver for the region, both online and in retail. Furthermore, our Fast Games content is also enjoying increasing popularity throughout Latin America.  

Could you go into some detail about what you showcased at GAT Expo in Columbia? 

GAT was an important event for us after such a long interval with no trade shows. GAT, for me, brought happiness back to the industry, especially in the Latin American market where networking is king. We were very excited to see an increased interest in our product, especially our sportsbook solution. Also, we showed a number of games that we have developed internally; we saw an increased interest in these too. In regard to this, both our sportsbook and games are available not only with the turnkey solution that we have, but also they can be integrated into existing betting platforms.  

How important are shows like GAT for Digitain?   

They’re so important to us and the gaming industry as a whole. People like to network and to build new relationships. Not only was GAT an opportunity to showcase our products and build new relationships but it is a time to meet our existing partners and discuss future opportunities. Trade shows also allow companies to improve and consolidate their long-term branding, and are especially important for companies just entering the market. We consider Latin America central for us and we hope to become a benchmark company, around which solutions will be discussed. This is an important vision for Digitain. 

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