The summit boasted a high-profile line-up of speakers who together shared the newest developments in online gaming
Online gaming and streaming in Latin America are influenced by a variety of factors, but time and the increasing number of internet connections are two of the most important. As a result of the pandemic, many individuals were forced to stay at home and use the internet to get their jobs done. Yesterday’s conference was focused on new gaming developments emerging throughout Latin America.
The summit boasted a high-profile line-up of speakers who together shared the newest developments in online gaming. Top industry leaders developing regulations, updates on the Brazilian gaming market, the growing online poker market in South America, player acquisition, and how 2020 has accelerated a new era of gaming throughout South America.
- How iGaming can be a force of good in the world
- The impact of federalisation and fragmentation in LatAm
- Brazil on the rise?
- Taking poker online in South and Latin America
- Attracting South American players
- How has 2020 accelerated a new era of gaming in LatAm?
The opening keynote started on a positive note. Here, Micheal Muscat Partner at iGaming Colombia touches upon how the iGaming industry has been and can continue to be a force of good in the world and looks at this from a comparative perspective to share the light on how a strive towards streamlined regulation can assist economies to create jobs, increased foreign direct investment and contribute generally towards their technological advancements and new infrastructure.
“Colombia is a sterling example of how a regulated approach can add value to the country and give back to its inhabitants. All gaming tax collected is destined to the public health system.” Without a doubt, this has proven to be extremely beneficial during the pandemic.
Mistakes in regulation will lead to players migrating to offshore sites which are far outside the reach of local authorities and more importantly extract capital from local economies.
It is safe to say that iGaming has generally positively contributed to state affluence and the development of myriad spin-off sectors. From tax heavy affiliates and neo banks, and attribution of tax revenue towards healthcare, it is clear that states should battel regulation to channel the good that can come with such an industry.
Michael Muscat’s keynote was followed by a striking panel discussion addressing the impact of federalisation and fragmentation in LatAm. Present in this discussion were: Andre Faure, Chief Executive Officer at GamePlan Gametech, Karen Marcela Sierra-Hughes, Vice President of Latin America & Caribbean at Gaming Laboratories International, and Fermamdo Garita, Head of Business Development, LatAm of Betcris.
Moderator Michael Muscat opens up the discussion with the question of various legal obstacles that operators encounter and how to make these better to make the whole iGaming experience smoother in the region. When asked how to smoothen out the certification process for B2B providers to harmonise technical compliance across the board, Sierra-Hughes answers “There’s no need to recreate the wheel again when there are so many things working so well around the world right now.”
The federalist approach by Brazil has definitely stalled what the industry has been waiting for even though it should be happening sometime soon with the hope that the political situation changes. As far as fragmentation is concerned, we’re seeing different countries taking different approaches in LatAm, Colombia. “We have to adapt to a new generation of players,” says Garita.
Moving towards a system of mutual recognition between countries creates an end goal of mutual recognition and that would make the overall experience smoother so that operators can make revenues and at the end of the day pay taxes.
In the next panel ‘Brazil on the rise,’ speakers discussed the iGaming market in Brazil from a legal and regulatory perspective as well as a gaming perspective. This market has been watched over the past number of years and everybody has been eagerly waiting for developments to take place. Moderator Michael Muscat from iGaming Colombia was joined by Eduardo Carlezzo, Managing Partner Carlezzo Advogados and Hugo Baungartner, Chief Operations Officer RCT Gaming.
Speaking about Brazil’s legislation Carlezzo said that unfortunately since December 2018, Brazil has been waiting for regulation to be put in place regarding sports betting but the federal government just never stepped up, “we lost almost two years on debate”. Regarding the same thought, Baungartner jokingly commented saying that regulation in “Brazil has been on the rise since early 2000.”
With hopes that the government and authorities understand what Brazil and the future of the country are and stop losing time with irrelevant discussions but instead focus on the economy and on creating jobs, the discussion closed off with the speakers agreeing that this will create positive competition for operators.
As a concluding comment moderator Michael Muscat insisted, “Brazil, a population of 400m, sports-crazy population, we just need the regulation!”
Keynote speaker of ‘Taking Poker online’ Dmitry Starostenkov, Chief Executive Officer of EvenBet Gaming opens his speech by taking into consideration the online black market. “As far as the market stays without regulation, we wouldn’t know the exact market capacity,” he says.
With tips on how to take poker online, Starostenkov says that choosing the right software vendor will help to avoid pitfalls, it can help with setting up marketing tools and educating the operator’s staff, offer a customised poker product targeted for the local audience, and guide through technical certifications.
As the gaming market becomes increasingly congested, this has also taken a toll on attracting new players. The main question in the discussion of the panel discussion titled ‘Attracting South American players’ is how to attract new players. Alvaro Quiros, Country Manager LatAm at Oddspedia, Sebastian Perrier, Managing Partner of iGamingLatam.com, and Victor Espinosa, Chief Executive Officer of Loto Punto all agree that one of the key factors to attract players to the market is by localising content. Localisation is about building trust with the customer.
How users can pay and claim prices easily is also beneficial in attracting new players as this is something that people playing lookout for.
Using social media sites such as Instagram and YouTube, influencer marketing involves paying people to directly advocate a product. An Association of National Advertisers poll from 2017 revealed that 75% of marketers utilise influencer marketing as part of their advertising plan.
The strategy of influencers shows localisation, when discussing this topic, Sebastian Perrier comments “Influencers are super important and this technique is not necessarily expensive as there are a lot of individuals doing this nowadays.” It’s not really about how many followers they have he says but rather how engaged with the community they are. “I wouldn’t judge a good influencer just by the followers.”
Victor Espinosa close off this topic by saying “There’s progress to be made when it comes to advertise and differentiate products.”
It’s safe to say that most of us had a tough year in 2020. Losing employees and seeing a decline in business was not a pleasant experience. People engaged in a variety of occupations and pastimes to keep themselves sane during this time, including gaming.
COVID was the opening question of discussion. Without a doubt 2020 has left a huge impact on economies but Michael Muscat says that this can be seen as positive as well as regulators were forced to open up to new ways to bring in taxes through gaming. Regulators looked at ways to generate more revenues to assist the healthcare system.
Land-Based products were in a sense also forced to go online and move further with digitalisation as this was their only way of coping. As things are getting back to normal, these institutes that wouldn’t have otherwise dreamed of going online will still be benefitting from this outcome both land-based and online.
“2020 brought with it new gaming products and new methods of payment, this has brought the LatAm market at par with what’s happening in Europe and the rest of the world.” Muscat
Yesterday’s two-day SiGMA Virtual Summit came to a close. We would like to thank the speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and viewers for making this summit another successful one by tuning in.
Join us for our next big event SiGMA Malta from November 16th till 18th and for the first time ever SiGMA will bring its four leading brands together under one roof for a multi-faceted event focused on gaming, crypto, affiliate marketing, and med-tech.
Join us for the next SiGMA iGathering networking event in Barcelona on the 21st of September at 19:30. Indulge in a delish dinner at the El Restaurant Barceloneta while interacting with like-minded individuals as well as the region’s top industry leaders.