After scouting out a whole host of opportunities on the rise in South America Betinvest’s VP of Business Development Valentyn Kyrylenko explained that the solutions provider is catering its products to the specific requirements of the LATAM market.
In recent weeks you’ve attended both Juegos Miami and LIMA in Peru, what makes Latin America and the Caribbean so exciting for you at this time?
Yes, we’ve attended a lot of industry events recently. We also exhibited at the Brazilian Gaming Congress, which took place shortly after the Peru Gaming Show in June, and we visited FADJA in Colombia earlier in the year. We’ve gathered a lot of useful information about the key features of the market at panel discussions and through face-to-face communication with local businesses and regulators. We firmly believe that there’s a huge potential for the gambling industry in Latin American countries and that their governments have taken a positive step in regulating it. As a leading provider of sports betting solutions, we’re obliged to keep abreast of and be active in the places and markets where the industry needs to be driven. That’s why the LATAM region is not the only region we’ve got our eyes on, although it is a very important one. The market is huge and it has limitless potential for companies in the iGaming sector. It’s only going to get bigger, better and more lucrative in the years to come, and that’s good news all around. Sport is an important part of LATAM culture; people love to watch sports, and to cheer on and support their favourite teams by placing bets. At the moment, locals don’t have particularly good or relevant industry experience so they need high-level sports betting products and must learn how to work with them. This is one of the upcoming tasks for European providers. In fact, if estimates are to be believed, Latin America could be more lucrative than all the regulated gambling markets in the United States for the foreseeable future.
Could you give an indication of the scale of Betinvest’s initiatives in the region at this time?
We’re still researching and exploring this region. We decided to visit these countries ourselves to participate in the biggest events, to network with partners, local operators and regulators, and to get industry insights. In accordance with the knowledge we now possess, we can tailor our plan for entering this market as a sports betting supplier and start new projects with our LATAM partners, but it’s going to take time. Long term, we plan to open a Betinvest office in Brazil, the largest South American country, and continue to provide our products and solutions to local operators who’ll be able to operate legally under the new legislation. In our opinion, Brazil is an excellent point of entry into the whole region.
When measuring players habits and regulatory red-tape, how different is it to working within Europe and do you feel you’re still having to make a name for yourself in this emerging market?
People in this region live and breathe sport and, what’s more, they love to bet. You can see this on the streets where almost everyone watches football matches on their mobile phones and glances through windows into houses where there’s a match showing on TV. They’re obsessed with sport, especially football. It’s the favourite sport of almost all the men and roughly 50 percent of the women (these figures are not based on official statistics). If we look at the behaviour of Latin American players, we can see that people usually place bets with small stakes of around $5-10. It would be very unusual to see a stake as big as $1,000. We can see that their gaming style is quite different to that of European bettors and generally less advanced. Taking Peru as an example, having just a few markets and only around 4,000 events is sufficient. Another important point is that local players are more likely to trust you as an operator if you have physical betting shops as well as online services. This is not due to the quality of the internet connection – it’s perfectly stable and having a mobile application is vital for every operator in order to meet their customers’ needs. The reason is simply that people have more confidence in a company when they’re used to seeing it in their local area. On average, the audience for gambling in Europe is younger than it is in South America. Some sports, including those that have a huge following in Europe, are practically non-existent in the LATAM region. Many will be surprised to hear about the passion for lotteries, as well as the rise in search traffic for sites that focus on games of chance. Regulators are very open and it’s easy to find all the necessary information. Making a name for yourself is an important step when you enter any new market. It’s something we do every time we exhibit or visit industry events and promote our sports betting products. We expect this market to show impressive growth. We’re ready to invest in it and to help the region to develop experienced players and reliable operators.
With such an engaged player base in the region, how are you adapting your business model to ensure your pricing and infrastructure is both profitable and sustainable?
We plan to open a Betinvest office in this region and to supply our time-tested sports betting products and solutions. Our products are 100 percent compliant with LATAM market requirements. We’ll be reconsidering our pricing for this region, since the offers we have for our European partners won’t suit those in the LATAM market very well. They don’t need as many events or markets in their Sportsbook, which means that we can reduce the price for them. We’re also working on creating some special offers for our partners in Latin American countries.