Chris Nikolopoulos, Chief Commercial Officer at Betby speaks to SBC Americas about the exciting opportunities opening up on both sides of the equator, and what the supplier has planned as it continues its program of expansion.
Is sports betting in LatAm appealing to the younger generation?
In short, yes, definitely! Now that sports betting has been digitized for many years, the doors are open wider than ever to a large number of desktop and mobile users in the region.
Latin America is a global leader in terms of mobile growth and its populace is well known for being extremely passionate about football and other sports, so we can only expect the interest in sports betting to increase over the coming years.
What factors have contributed to the delay of launching new regulation around sports betting in LatAm? And what about in the US?
In my opinion, Latin America’s narrative should not focus on the timeframe or delay in implementation of new regulation. Rather, we should be focusing on the regulation itself. The framework should do more to protect the users and promote entrepreneurship by embracing new technologies and products.
Latin America has made big steps forward lately, and there are already great examples in the region that we can draw upon, such as Columbia.
I would argue that the US is a unique case considering how many different states there are with different agendas. That said, it is only a matter of time before the next state pushes to bring in sports betting regulation, for example, Louisiana could legalise it before the start of the American football season.
Sports betting in the US is hugely popular in states where it has been legalized – do you think there will ever be a full federal gambling bill, or will the state-by-state nature continue for the foreseeable?
For the time being, I believe that the US should continue to follow the state-by-state model. Considering how each state has its own requirements, business, and culture, it makes the most sense for it to follow a model like this.
As we all witnessed, the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018 gave states the go-ahead to legalize sports betting. The initial law barred state-authorized sports betting with very few exceptions, making Nevada the only state to allow wagering on the results of a single game.
Esports wagering is growing in popularity in LatAm. What needs to change in the regulation for operators to feel more secure?
The explosive growth that esports has seen in recent years has been impossible for operators to ignore, so there is a desire to create a safe and regulated environment for esports wagering to flourish in.
Operators and jurisdictions need to work closely together in order to create a legal framework that ensures the security of users’ funds. Collaboration is also required to maintain the quality and integrity of events and markets and make sure that fair terms are offered.
Can you tell us more about Betby’s plans in both North and South America?
With us already being live and extremely active in Latin America, we deem it a very strong part of our business. We can visibly see the success of our products in the market, and the feedback we receive from users is very good.
Latin America is such an interesting, multi-faceted market and we will be investing in it for many years to come. With regards to the US, while we may not have a presence in the region at present, we are always monitoring the progress of regulation across various states for the right opportunity.
There is no market in the world that can not be accessed when you have a strong product and the right partner, and we are confident in our ability to tick all the boxes.
Over the next 12 months, Betby will be participating in various events and conferences in the regions, including SBC Digital North America 2021. We will, of course, be happy to liaise with potential partners at these events with the potential to create mutually profitable business plans. Who knows what the future will hold!