You recently made your LatAm debut in Mexico with operator LoGrand Entertainment. What makes Mexico the ideal market for your suite of slot games?
Mexico is a thriving online casino market where regulations are stringent when it comes to player protection while still ensuring it is commercially viable for operators and game studios. There is a strong appetite for engaging and entertaining online casino and slot content among a wide range of player audiences, and, as a studio with bold and ambitious plans for the wider LatAm market, we wanted to be among the first to deploy games in Mexico. Our partnership with LoGrand Entertainment is a testament to the quality of our slots with the operator sharing our belief and confidence that they will hit the mark with players. We are also soon live with Cbet – another tier-one LatAm operator – and the feedback we have received from both operators and their players has been incredible. Titles such as Weight of the Gun, Mr. Alchemister, and Ruler of Egypt have quickly risen to the top of the charts – so too have those that use our innovative pipe mechanic. These are unique, one-reel slots that have really taken the market by storm.
We see Mexico very much as the foundation for building our presence across Latin America and we will continue to enter additional markets as regulations allow. Across the continent, online gambling is growing at a rapid rate – in 2021 alone, revenues increased by $7.2bn with no signs of this slowing down as more countries embrace regulation and licensing, allowing operators and studios such as Lady Luck Games to address more of the 400 million people that live in Latin America.
What are players in Mexico and more broadly across LatAm looking for in an online slot? Does this differ from other global markets? If so, how?
The Mexican market is broken down as follows – 60% is sports betting and 40% is online casino games such as slots, blackjack, poker, and lottery. Lady Luck Games is focused entirely on the casino vertical and is on a mission to bring top-quality content to players in markets across Latin America. This is already a highly competitive market and the quality of the experience offered by operators will ultimately determine the level of success they achieve. Player expectations are high, and they absolutely must be met and where possible, exceeded. An online casino lives or dies based on the games offered to players, and we want our operator partners to be able to provide a lobby of slots that players keep coming back to. To date, we have launched slots from our international portfolio that we believe offer what players are looking for, but we are now gathering data and feedback which will be used to develop games specifically for the market, allowing operators to truly localise their slot portfolios. In Mexico, this means exploring games around themes such as Inca, Dia de Los Muertos, and Piñatas.
Can you tell us more about your plans for Latin America? What makes it such an attractive market for Lady Luck?
We are keeping a very close eye on how regulations progress in various countries across the region and are always considering the best opportunities for Lady Luck Games to explore. Colombia is certainly on the agenda as well as countries that have regulated or are regulating online gambling. Markets that have gone down this path such as Buenos Aires (Argentina) are seeing significant yet stable growth and this really should make other jurisdictions sit up and take note. All eyes are currently on Brazil – the sleeping giant of Latin America – as legislation getting over the line here would be a game changer. Retail gambling is prohibited but online gambling is grey and some brands are actively targeting the market and building sizable player bases that they will be able to really maximise as and when enabling law is passed. As for Lady Luck, we plan to be in all regulated online casino markets that are commercially viable.
Where is the opportunity greater – North or South America? Why?
This is a really interesting question. If you just look at the size of the addressable market and the predicted GGR from each, North America has the edge. But when you factor in things like licensing, the need to secure market access partnerships and the incredibly high cost of marketing and brand-building, then the scales could tip in the other direction. Either way, it’s safe to say that both markets provide tremendous opportunities for operators and game developers to explore and that’s exactly what we are doing in both North and South America.
How is your licence application in Ontario progressing? What impact will your games have on the market?
We took the decision to postpone our application for an Ontario licence due to our acquisition of ReelRNG and the launch of our new remote game server, StormRGS. Now that this is live, we plan to pick up our Ontario licence application once again this year. We have already received strong feedback from Ontario operators when we presented at CGA last year, so we are determined to make our full suite of games available to all operators targeting the market as soon as possible and to see how players respond to our striking animations, powerful sound, big bonuses, and action-packed gameplay.
Do you have any plans to make a move in the US? Which states in particular are on your radar?
We are keen to make a move in key US online casino states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and these markets are firmly on our roadmap. That said, I doubt we will secure licences and go live in these states this year as we are prioritising Latin America for now while also focusing on the launch of our new state-of-the-art platform for European operators.
What can European developers bring to the table in these markets?
Online casino is incredibly advanced in most European markets. The studios that have focused on Europe are at the cutting edge of online slot development and are the ones bringing innovations and new concepts to players for the first time. It’s still early days for US studios and many are still concentrating on an omnichannel approach by getting back Casino titles online, while European developers are pushing boundaries and creating the next generation of mobile-first casino content. It won’t be long before players in North and South America seek out games that develop these , never seen before experiences, and that will see them fire up the reels on titles created by European studios such as Lady Luck.
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