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Round Table Latam: Answers on sports betting LatAm 2022
1. Taking a broad view, what’s your take on the current online sports betting environment across the continent? What do you predict we’ll see over the next 12 months in terms of digital evolution?
I believe we will continue to see the kind of growth that had been spurred on by the couple of years of the pandemic and it’s important to understand what the post-covid situation has added and changed for the sporting and sports betting world.
Back in March 2020, the sporting world froze, many things have changed since then and the pandemic has made the entire industry speed up and focus on everything related to safety and health.
For example, one of the things that has changed and that will mean a continuous growth for the digital world is that we moved into an online-mandatory approach for businesses. We do see more and more land-based companies going into the online business and I do believe we will see M&A activity and it will depend on who understands the local business better in order to provide a better product for their customers.
I do believe we will have more activity in terms of regulation along LATAM, with some countries following the example of Colombia and Coljuegos. That means, everything will be urgent, and we will need to be flexible in order to keep up with the industry growth and requirements.
2. Looking at the key markets of Argentina, Colombia and Mexico – how much do sports betting trends differ across the continent? What sports and verticals are proving most popular aside from soccer?
When we talk about LATAM in general, we all agree football (soccer) is the number 1 sport for bettors, now, the 2nd sport usually varies from one country to another. Let’s take Mexico for example, it is very US-Sports oriented, so NBA, MLB or NFL are extremely popular there. In other countries that 2nd place could be taken by Tennis, or Basketball.
While we can say LATAM users are very passionate about sports, Colombia for instance is quite big in terms of betting multiples, including favourites.
When we talk about Esports, Virtual Sports or other verticals such as Casino, the industry is continuously growing and changing as the world moves forward into new forms of entertainment.
3. How much interest are we seeing in the big four US sports and European football leagues?
With that main European football leagues (Spanish La Liga, Premier League, Champions League, World Cup, etc) it’s easy to see that these are the ones driving Turnover for LATAM and as well as, we could see the main American Sports (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB) in the same vain, as drivers for other sports like the NBA as it’s one of the main leagues within basketball for example.
This means that interest in these big four will not change, these are the all important leagues for the industry and while local leagues are important for each country or region, these main US Sports and European football leagues are common for all.
4. Looking to Esports, which is arguably one of LatAm’s fastest growing verticals, what’s your view on its surge in popularity? Do the demographics differ to those who bet on virtual sports?
Esports is definitely here to stay. Its growth spiked during the pandemic, especially e-Football (FIFA).
I believe Esports are growing as, even though there’s more attention on them, there’s still room to cover, for example, Madden is the most played betting sports in North America but there’s still no Madden Esports. So, I do believe there will be a lot of developments that are going to happen, a lot of learning, both for bettors and for bookies in terms of risk management for instance. We are witnessing, experiencing and adding to the beginning of Esports and I’m confident they will have a permanent share of the turnover once it sets in and becomes more widely used around the world.
As far as the demographics, it’s not necessarily the same users as for virtuals. Virtuals are RNG games, while Esports are real competitions between real people. The truth is that Esports users are more used to purchasing things online, more technology-savvy and some could say, a bit more loyal towards their games, so they could be a very nice addition to any customer database and simply make that database stronger as well.
5. Last but not least, the big prediction that all our readers will want to know about - what odds would you give on Brazil becoming a regulated market by this time next year?
We recently saw a big move towards regulation in Brazil, I would say/hope we will finally have the “YES” option for Brazil becoming a regulated market by this time next year … something Altenar is looking forward to as it will present new challenges and adaptations to our software that might not have been created by any other market as of yet.