Victor Arias, VP LatAm, Pragmatic Play, speaking at this week’s SBC Summit Latinoamérica in Miami, believes that talent acquisition and localization are key issues facing new entrants to the Latin American gaming market.
Arias was joined on the GLI-sponsored panel by Ramiro Atucha, CEO at Vibra Gaming; Udo Seckelmann, Lawyer at Bichara & Motta; and Sérgio Garcia Alves, Lawyer at Abdala Advogados, with moderating duties executed by Bill Pascrell III, Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group.
Addressing the issue of localization, Arias told delegates that this is “the first and most important thing when it comes to trying to get into this market” and trying to be “as flexible as possible”. He said: “It’s one of the things that we are trying to do in Latin America – localizing our own team to be able to give complete knowledge to each one of the partners that is working with us across the region.”
Arias also noted that there is high anticipation around countries that are thinking about regulating, with Colombia, Argentina and Panama generating a lot of expectations.
Moderator Pascrell turned the conversation to talent sourcing, citing a lack of qualified personnel in the North American gaming market by way of comparison to the current situation in LatAm.
Arias responded: “It is a big challenge – in my opinion it’s the biggest challenge. Once again, localization is key in my opinion. When I was first brought by Pragmatic, my first challenge was to form my own team across Latin America. So far I have 12 people working for me across the region. I have very experienced people to non-experienced people, which I had to train and had to get to understand the industry and, most importantly, the products.
“At this point, for example, I’m looking for talent for different markets and it is taking some time and a lot of energy – it’s becoming a problem. Bringing people from Europe or any other continent is another challenge because when you come to Latin America you want to understand, or at least give the operator in Latin America the knowledge of the Latin American work.
“And we have to combine both B2B and B2C knowledge, but bring in the culture as well. It is becoming a challenge – not a problem, a challenge.”