The complexity of the LatAm gaming sector should never be underestimated according to David Bonnefous, Commercial Director at igaming and sportsbook platform solutions provider GiG. What goes in one jurisdiction doesn’t automatically go in another. It is not a land of ‘Curacao licences’.
Much has been said about the need for extensive experience in Latin American markets because of the rapidly evolving regulatory frameworks, but what exactly is the secret to offering a truly secure and perfectly customised offer in the region?
I think that, first and foremost, and even before talking about regulation and regulatory frameworks, the biggest problem has been the one of perception. You can’t look at Latin America through European eyes. For too many years, Latin America was a land of .coms, in stark contrast to the difficult European regulations that have been put in place over the past decade.
This vision was misleading, as LatAm was all too quickly lumped together as a land of Curaçao licences, forgetting very quickly that an Argentinian or a Mexican could have very different gaming habits. After that, regulations began to arrive in Latin America, each with its own characteristics, and here again, one of the concerns was to really take each country, and for some even each province, as a specific and particular entity.
It may sound crazy, but some offers work differently in the province of Entre Rios than in the province of Buenos Aires. We’re talking about the same country, but behind the difference in regulations lies completely different player habits.
The passion and appetite for sports in Latin America is legendary. How does that influence your approach to providing a complete solution that delivers not only a world-class sportsbook, but also a tailor-made offer and risk management for each market, operator and player?
In addition to sportsbook design, sports selection is also very important. What are the four most popular sports in Argentina? I’m asking you this because rugby is bound to come up again (due to the World Cup this year) but I’m sure that this sport is totally anonymous in Paraguay, which is right next door.
We’ve been too quick to classify sportsbooks as global products based around football, tennis and basketball. Just look at baseball in the USA, the difference in GGR between these flagship states and what’s done in Europe. Some sports and competitions are popular in one country because of the media coverage etc., but media coverage can plummet once you cross a border.
That’s why the offer has to be adapted to the operators, but above all to the local players, who will be looking for a sportsbook that suits them and offers them what they like. I’m not talking in terms of betting and features (that’s phase two for the bettor), but above all in terms of sports and markets.
Looking more closely at the creation of a perfect localised offer, tell us how a wide integration with third parties such as casino and slot providers, and payment specialists, can help achieve this. And how important are factors such as capacity and speed of new integrations in this process?
It’s not all about localisation, but to understand which third party providers are popular, to deliver a localised and personalised player experience to stay in demand. For example, when talking about localising the offer, don’t forget the means of payment, which must be adapted to the country.
In Europe, certain payment applications exist in Spain, but not in France, and vice versa. Once again, one of the platform’s must-haves is to understand the country so as to be functional with popular payment methods. Localisation is one thing, but popularity is the second most important part to create a successful offer.
This also applies to games, where some work much better in one country than in another. At GiG, we base all third parties on the ease of integration of cutting-edge products, so that our partners can have a very broad portfolio to choose from, as well as the possibility to follow our recommendations.
With speed and ease of integration as a cornerstone of our platform we can therefore be fast to market, and quickly integrate new suppliers to provide our partners with third-party suppliers of their choice.
Clearly, technology is more than capable of delivering a localised offer, but the need for ongoing support will be at the forefront of operators’ minds. Can you tell us more about the daily work that will be required to support operators via a team with an international vision but with extensive local knowledge and Key Account Managers?
I often say it, but GiG is not a supplier but a partner. Imagine in Formula 1, a tire supplier who delivers tires without explaining their characteristics or how to optimise rubber wear, etc.? At GiG, customer relations is the keystone: our key account managers support operators in each of their projects, advise them and allow them to bring their vision to the business.
Educating operators, supporting them, advising them, being by their side for analyses, optimizations, presenting them with new third party providers and more. All this is part of our DNA.
Of course, empathy, responsiveness, and relationships are key words here as well. This is both important for new operators who want to gradually launch a business in partnership with someone who has local knowledge and a full managed services offering for marketing, operations and customer relationship management. As well as for an established operator looking to create a 100% personalised marketing and product offering, delivering a complete branded experience for their players.
And finally, let’s talk about the need for a ‘new generation’ igaming and sports betting platform – one that is agnostic and scalable to achieve maximum adaptability in a market which is primed for growth, but at the same time highly complex.
The future is in fact summed up in your question: creating a flexible, dedicated product that also meets all the complex requirements that a regulated market can have. It’s complex since regulation can have a monolithic and intransigent aspect. There are rules to follow, certain forms of immutable laws, that we know very well.
But do these aspects prevent operators from optimising their B2C operations? I don’t believe so. On the contrary, this encourages inventiveness and flexibility. Which has led GiG to provide all the flexibility that an operator needs while staying compliant from a regulatory point of view.