CEO Alex Leese speaks exclusively to SoloAzar
What does your participation in this edition of SBC Digital Latin America consist of? What can you tell us about your experience at the event?
We were a sponsor of SBC Digital Latin America and used it to cement our position as one of the region’s go-to sportsbook and casino suppliers. I was also asked to speak on a panel about leadership in iGaming in LatAm, which was a real pleasure. It’s a very exciting time for the industry there, with lots of changes happening now and on the near horizon. It was a good opportunity to give the wider audience some insight into how we can assist with the whole set-up, and not just as a technology provider, and to learn about what we can expect in the coming months.
How do you see the outlook for the sector in Latin America this year?
First and foremost, all eyes are on Brazil, which is expected to make an announcement in July of this year. There is also likely to be further progress in Peru and the Argentinian provinces outside Buenos Aires. In many respects Colombia is leading the charge, where the bigger European brands have already had the confidence take out licences either by application or via M&A, alongside the local operators. That bodes well for other markets in the region and it is noticeable that 75 per cent of Brazilian football clubs already have betting sponsors. That tells its own tale. What will be interesting to see is what products these markets take to when they finally emerge. Virtuals and other AI-driven content have recently become more prominent in other markets around the world, accelerated by the pandemic in the main. But in Latin America they are likely to be front and centre from the start.
What are the opportunities and challenges facing the company and the industry in general?
I think the opportunities are fairly obvious given the size of the potential audiences in Latin America. The most immediate challenge is to work out what form of regulation each market will adopt. Just like Europe there is not necessarily going to have any uniformity to it. Will Brazil adopt a concession model like Buenos Aires in Argentina, for example, or an authorization-based one like Spain and Colombia? This will make a big difference to operators when it comes to applying for a licence and the technical regulations that come with it. One of the challenges for Pronet Gaming is identifying the brands to work with despite this uncertainty. Many operators will benefit hugely from a third-party platform like ours that has everything in place and is ready to hit the ground running.
Which countries in the region are you already established and which are you focusing on?
Pronet Gaming already has a presence and is working with operators in Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, with El Salvador to follow shortly. Interestingly, those commercial relationships are with both local and international operators, as well as regulators, lawyers and service suppliers. They are not necessarily with companies in sports betting and casino at the moment either. There are a host of interesting possibilities with lottery operators and land-based casinos, for instance, who can make a quick impact here, bringing huge player volumes and an extensive retail presence to the table. They need a flexible omni-channel solution, as a result, and one that allows them to change the UI and UX quickly to meet their needs locally.