Andrew Cochrane, Chief Development Officer at SBTech, underlines the importance of Latin America, a region that offers huge scope for growth with a healthy appetite for fast, flexible, innovative and highly regulated technology.
SBCA: What has the response been to SBTech’s Join the Big League campaign at ICE? In what ways will the campaign extend into LatAm?
AC: Feedback from across the industry has been extremely positive. SBTech has helped to propel multiple brands into leading market positions across more than 15 regulated territories worldwide and this campaign was born from that success.
Showcased at ICE, our full turnkey solution has enabled our partners to completely centralize their operations, increase revenue and experience significant growth over recent years, and this set the foundations of the campaign.
Understanding how this industry has matured and evolved, we work with partners in an extremely customized way. For example, our extensive suite of APIs has enabled Argyll Entertainment to deliver a unique customer experience, and hearing our partners explain why they chose to work with SBTech has been extremely rewarding.
Looking to Latin America, we won’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and will adapt to our audience through our localized sportsbook and language-specific casino content. But our successes in Europe and the United States, particularly through our significant investment in our US sports offer, will certainly provide valuable lessons and assets as we look to grow in the region.
SBCA: On the B2B side, what are your key goals and target LatAm markets for the year ahead?
AC: Latin America is an extremely important region for SBTech. Our localized sportsbook comprises extensive coverage across numerous sports and competitions, which is fundamental to our offering in the region. Our investment in US sports will also add further depth to our sportsbook and increase its appeal to this audience. Alongside this, our aggregated casino hub houses bespoke content that is tailored for a Spanish-speaking audience.
As a B2B-focused technology provider, we remain fully committed to our partners, ensuring that we can help them further increase revenue through our flexible, customized and secure platform. We have always been a global company and we will continue to innovative in new markets, such as Latin America, where we’ll work closely with both new and existing partners supplying products that align with customer behavior in this region.
The industry is expanding rapidly around the world with newly regulated territories opening every year including countries in Latin America. We see huge scope for growth and an appetite for fast, flexible, innovative and highly regulated and responsible technology that can offer players the safest and most entertaining experience.
SBCA: With regulation in Brazil stalling, how does this affect your strategy in the country in 2020 and beyond?
AC: Our dedicated compliance team has decades of experience and are constantly planning for different scenarios. This includes Chris Binham, our new Director of Jurisdictional Compliance, who was with Betfair for eight years. While there he spent most of 2019, for example, in Buenos Aires working on the licence application for Buenos Aires province. He has also spent time in Colombia and Brazil with regulators, discussing ways these countries and their jurisdictions are planning to regulate.
Many operators are keen to break into Brazil but there remains some uncertainty as to how and when it will regulate. We were expecting regulation to happen in 2020 but this is now likelier to happen in a year or two. The recent announcement that they are considering limiting licensees to 30 is an interesting move and one we are working with our partners towards.
It is unclear as to what criteria the regulators will decide on as to who is selected. However this could be down to size of network, market coverage and the extent of operator responsible gaming controls which will inevitably be a key factor. With that in mind we are working with our partners to ensure they have the right market strategies and measures in place.
Overall, we pride ourselves on achieving the highest regulatory standards possible across all areas of the business with compliance central to our operations. Ongoing knowledge, awareness and learning is vitally important within compliance as it is such a fast-moving and changeable area across the many regulated markets in which we operate.
SBCA: With LatAm moving forward with igaming regulation, are you planning to open offices in the region?
AC: We have always invested in infrastructure in territories where we have significant operations. A good example is in the US. We opened our Las Vegas office, which now has over 40 people, to directly support our work with the Oregon State Lottery, and we’d certainly look to do the same in territories in which we have significant partnerships.
SBCA: This is your first year at the event, what are your thoughts ahead of the GAT show?
The market, the size and focus of the show is rapidly growing and constantly changing therefore we must be ready to quickly adapt. We’re looking forward to the event and discussing with both existing and potential partners about how our multi-channel product and platform offering, including our igaming platform and advanced sportsbook that includes regulation-ready, localized products and responsible gambling tools, can be used across a vast array of regulated markets.
Our flexible, advanced platform and sportsbook product suite can be tailored to any regulated market and, as a result, we have become recognized as the multi-channel sports betting supplier of choice, having been integrated by more than 50 operators across more than 15 regulated markets.