Light & Wonder’s Commercial Director LatAm, Tatiana García Barrenechea, explains why Mexico is the jewel in the crown of the region when it comes to games that provide recognisable fun to casino enthusiasts.
It’s been over 10 months since Light & Wonder made its debut in Mexico by launching with Rush Street Interactive. How has your content performed in the region?
As it stands, we are currently live with three operators in Mexico – RushBet, Novibet and Caliente – while in the process of onboarding a lot more. Mexico is a market with a huge land-based history, so there is no surprise that our most popular games are omnichannel titles such as 88 Fortunes and Jin Ji Bao Xi Endless Treasure. In fact, we have seen strong performance levels across all of our Asian-themed games.
It is also the top-performing land-based games that are performing the best online. These titles feature mechanics that resonate with players and ultimately, they have proven to be popular inside the casino and with online players. Mexico, in particular, has a strong casino culture, so it is no surprise that our content has performed especially well there.
Overall, how would you characterise the online casino market in Mexico?
While we’ve only been live for 10 months in Mexico, we have found that there are similarities to the US, given its rich land-based history. Our top-performing online games are recognisable land-based titles and we expect other Latin American markets that have a strong retail culture will follow suit in this regard. This is why our strategy is to align Latin America with our roadmap in the US and Canada, rather than UK and Europe.
Taking a wider view of LatAm as a whole right now, our biggest growth opportunities lie in Mexico, where regulation is currently less restrictive and therefore more straightforward for operators to enter the market. Many of our international tier-one partners have confirmed their plans for the market and we are in the process of onboarding these operators, while also looking to local land-based providers that want to offer their content online.
The expectation is for Mexico to grow exponentially over the coming years – to a greater extent than any of the other market in the region – and it is a country of huge interest to Light & Wonder.
Are we seeing any changing trends in the region from a content perspective?
Live dealer is a vertical of great importance in the region and as content continues to evolve along with the technology that enables players to have an ever-more realistic and engaging experience, we expect it to continue growing. There are some great products on the market right now and given Mexico’s land-based heritage and culture, the delivery of advanced live dealer experiences to players presents exciting opportunities.
With the entry into the market from huge tier-one international operators we are also seeing a lot more gamification tools implemented from within their platforms. Bringing knowledge and expertise from other markets can help to influence local operators to incorporate those value-adding tools to their offerings, which is an essential part of a successful player retention strategy.
Another element that is emerging is crash games, which we have seen performing well across all Latin American markets and especially in Brazil. They provide quick-fire, unpredictable entertainment that is engaging while also simple to understand.
What’s your growth focus over the coming months, both in Mexico and further afield in the region?
We will continue to work with our land-based content experts to ensure the content we’re offering is relevant. We’ll also be working with and closely advising our third-party studios that are entering the market. It is great to support these studios to help them bring content that delivers fantastic results. To take one example, Hypernova Megaways from Reel Play is performing very well in Mexico in particular through our OpenGaming platform.
We are also closely monitoring Peru, Chile and Brazil, to ensure once there is regulation published, we can make our analysis, enter the market and support our operator partners. Key to us is the long-standing partnerships we have cultivated. We need to support them when they want to enter a new market, whether that be through the provision of proven, successful content, back-end information or updated roadmaps. Given our extensive land-based history and strong data at a platform level, Light & Wonder has a strong competitive advantage in enabling operators to stay informed about the types of content that will prove successful.