The unprecedented version of the FIFA World Cup that will take place in Qatar at the end of November brings about a paradigm shift for all the parties involved in the most relevant sporting event of the year.
As explained by Andrea Rossi, Commercial Director for South America and Spain at Betsson Group, Latin America is “the most passionate region when it comes to football”, therefore the expectations for the gaming industry are higher than ever for the region.
This is especially relevant for countries like Argentina and Peru, where this will be their first time experiencing a World Cup in a regulated market, and the possibility that sleeping giant Brazil will wake in the proximity of the tournament. They would follow the example of Colombia, which was the first one to do so before the 2018 World Cup and is now considered one of the most advanced markets in Latin America when it comes to regulation of igaming
Following its M&A strategy in the emerging markets of Latin America, Betsson has achieved an established position by acquiring InkaBet, Colbet, and Suaposta, while it is “currently focusing on Brazil and Chile,” as Rossi noted and said that they’re “now also live in the second biggest gaming market in LatAm, Mexico.”
Given its experience in the region, which started after launching in Peru in 2008 and then continued its footprint with regional expansion and sponsorship deals with the Chilean National Team, the Peruvian League 1, and the Copa América tournaments for men in 2021 and women in 2022 as prime examples, Betsson celebrates this World Cup year by highlighting the cultural importance that it has for the local fans.
Rossi pointed out that “we are the first ones to be passionate about sports,” highlighting the group’s “enthusiasm and desire” to plan campaigns, platform support, the necessary technology, or other elements that promise a unique experience for the player, considering the powerful engagement that is expected with millions of fans around the world looking for a gaming platform where they can place their bets securely during the World Cup.
As revealed by Rossi, the company has a strong focus on new platform features related to the World Cup, such as an event exclusive section, which allows each user to build a specific bet, changing their favorite options.
The company is also planning a unique offer of the Betsson Million, a $1m prize in US dollars, just for the World Cup.
However, this isn’t limited to sports: as a multi-product brand, Betsson is betting on different verticals, meaning that the entertainment will also focus on online casino with new launches and special offers.
Furthermore, the company will work with regional ambassadors to promote fair, transparent, and safe gambling, prioritizing entertainment during the World Cup and beyond.
“Many people will enter our platform during that time, including players who are betting for the first time. We have all our attention on the event and we have a concrete plan for the months before, during, and after the World Cup,” Rossi said.
“In this edition, the event will take place right before a holiday period in Latin America, so we will have a different seasonality in LatAm and it will allow us to get ready for February when the local leagues and events will kick off, different from what happens when the World Cup takes place in June/July when there’s continuity in the sporting calendar with local leagues, Champions League, the Libertadores and the European Championships running.”
The Latin American football teams will be, without a doubt and as is traditionally the case, the favorite candidates to win this tournament, which is why Betsson celebrates that the regulations have moved forward to address sports betting in the countries passionate about football.
“The World Cup is a point of interest for the regulation to start working in Latin America. Many regulators considered it as a point of reference to have an updated and working legislation,” Rossi commented and highlighted the “unique opportunity” that it represents.
With 19 operating licenses, sponsorships deals with the most competitive leagues, national teams, and international sports teams, and recognition from players in more than 20 regulated markets around the world, Betsson is an emblematic brand for the industry and its focus is now on “achieving additional opportunities as we continue to establish the Betsson Group as one of most competitive sports betting and online casino operator in Latin America.”
The event in Qatar will be key to achieving that, as Rossi believes that recreational players will learn more about the options available to them in terms of online betting as they look for more entertainment options related to the World Cup. This is why it is vital to have a solid platform that can support the great demand expected in the different countries of the region and with an offer that guarantees interest before, during, and even after the event.
“We are going to be very present and increase our offering to give new and traditional players a reason to participate. Thus, they can stay in the game even if their own team isn’t there,” he said and shared that it is also important to work with local ambassadors, who are renowned athletes from their own countries.
“We will connect with players through engaging news, content, and information, which will expand the reach to the most recreational players. The World Cup is the World Cup – a unique entertainment event that brings passion in every corner of the planet,” he said.
Betsson’s development in Latin America
For Rossi, trust in the brand is the first thing the Latin American player looks for, given the local culture and the small amount of experience compared to more mature markets. For this reason, not only the classic television marketing was essential for Betsson, but also the agreements with CONMEBOL and other sports authorities, which have given the company the opportunity to be part of and support the development of sports and local talents.
The company was able to access exclusive content that they offer to all sports fans connected to their media platforms. “We want to be considered one of the best brands when it comes to engagement, and this can be achieved by providing a strong 360 degrees of entertainment experience to everyone who likes to have fun. We work hard to produce good content to deliver it to sports fans,” he explained.
“What is happening in Latin America when it comes to sports betting and online casinos is incredibly exciting, and Betsson Group is proud to be part of the development of what we consider to be one of the most dynamic regions in the world,” the Commercial Director said.
With a very strong position in the region, thanks to the addition of local talent with great experience, Betsson sees itself operating in all viable jurisdictions. That is why it has a scalable strategy supported by the Latin American hub that they have inaugurated in Bogotá, Colombia.
The operator predicts that thanks to the World Cup and the boost given by recent regulations, such as in Argentina, more Latin American markets will implement their legislation, which will bring about a consolidation of the industry throughout the continent. In this regard, Betsson will reinforce its M&A strategy, one that will continue to be a key area of its expansion, along with its focus to keep up with the rapid pace of growth that it is experiencing in all the markets in that it already operates in the region.
“The regulation will bring more opportunities for Betsson Group to do this. And make no mistake about it, regulation is coming to Latin America. We are 100% committed to the region and we plan to become one of the main players there,” Rossi concluded, recalling that Latin America has become the second most important market for the company.