While live casino has already been a strong performer in LatAm this year given the cancellation of sport – BetGames.TV has netted some of the industry’s highest surges in bet counts this year to make it one of the region’s standout suppliers.
Keen to find out more about the keys to their success, we had a virtual chat with BetGames.TV’s LatAm Sales Director to get the latest on the company’s expansion – as well as his insights on how we should expect the market to play out in the coming months.
It’s clear that certain verticals have taken a hit in recent months. How have live dealer games performed from BetGames.TV experience?
From our understanding, our live dealer titles have outperformed the average comparative title of late. We believe this is down to their unique fixed odds nature, which brings them closer to the sports betting audience which has been prime for cross-selling into casino this year.
Some of our games have registered performance increases of up to 300% in the first half of 2020, and this correlates with the same period that the global sporting calendar was limited and players were locked down and looking for new, vibrant content on digital and mobile channels.
Is the online gaming space catching up with the region’s long-held land-based focus in recent months?
Pre-pandemic, it had showed signs that the trend was changing in favour of online, but the sudden shock of lockdown has given many operators a reality-check that the transition needs to be prioritised.
Saying that, online gaming laws remain an important factor in this shift, and these too need to progress sustainably to develop a safer, regulated, and balanced marketplace. I personally don’t see the move to digital occurring as fast as some have predicted, but I expect it to play out with a form of natural selection where only the strongest, best prepared suppliers and operators will survive.
How has your experience with regulators been in terms of the roll-out of live dealer games?
If you look at the LatAm region, there has tended to be a lag in Live Casino product regulation. It tends to come after teething problems have been ironed out in the likes of casino and sportsbook, which almost always become the first to be regulated in newly opened markets.
There’s a lot to learn from various European markets, like the UK or Italy, where the variety of product offerings and certification processes protect both business and players in a more controllable, transparent online setting.
Is there a certain demographic uptake that explains your recent success? Is this a new audience your products have targeted, or do you think you’ve attracted players from other verticals?
Our games’ characteristics, namely being fast-paced, simple to pick-up, visual, and low-risk with regular reward, appeal to both sports and casino players from both player feedback and data analysis.
The key to our success is arguably a combination of both appealing to the expected base, but also not creating game environments that rule out gambler interaction from other verticals. We know we still have a long way to go, and we’ll continue to hone this wider market strategy, working with partners to build further product knowledge and make improvements that work across multiple borders.
With many players in the region relatively new to online gambling, let alone live dealer games, how do you go about building that initial trust?
Building trust with a new player in the digital space relies heavily on their local environment and the interaction with the operators that first serve them. A regulated country gives that first ‘plus’ mark to the player, but this can also be achieved by a strong, respected brand, or via associated partners and sponsors.
As a game supplier, we can assist by providing games that are recognisable to the local user, while also making them easy to play, entertaining and low risk, which is key to driving long term gaming longevity. We can also work with operators on tutorials, promotional and marketing tools, and offer our local expertise wherever we can to partners, so they can deliver a safe gaming environment that players will feel comfortable in.
Are there learnings from other geographies that you can take to LatAm or do you need a wholly localized approach?
Of course. There is always general learning that can be introduced to the region, particularly from Europe. It has instilled country-by-country localisation successfully, and I believe the “think global and act locally” mantra can be perfectly applied here. Although there is no reason why we cannot go further and add some local ‘spice’ and knowhow, especially on aspects affecting player lifecycle behaviour, marketing and in operations.
How do you see the wider market performing as it comes out of this pandemic? Are there certain territories or verticals that could significantly benefit or struggle?
I see the retail channel as the clear ‘loser’ from this pandemic. This applies to territories and companies where their online evolution has not been sufficient, or where they maintain high dependencies on a small number of territories with overly concentrated retail cashflow.
In terms of who might come out of this better, I have to say we are looking good at BetGames.TV, while virtual sports suppliers look to be the most improved of late. On a macro level, it’s also clear that online and mobile are those who have won big from bricks-and-mortar casino’s recent hiatus.