Sportingtech is continuing to enhance its reputation across the globe and is the number one provider in LatAm, with more plans to grow now that regulation in Brazil imminent. Senior Director of Emerging Markets, Mark Schmidt, outlines what lies ahead.
Tell us about your new role in a nutshell?
I have now worked at Sportingtech for 18 months, previously as Sales Director, Africa. In my new role, I will be driving the company’s expansion into new and developing markets, with an increased focus on Latin America. I will also continue to drive growth in Africa. I am responsible for formulating and executing market entry strategies, establishing key partnerships, and ensuring regulatory compliance in targeted emerging markets. This means staying abreast of all regulatory developments in Brazil, particularly over the next 12 months, as we gain a clearer picture of the country’s regulatory framework and licensing plans.
What constitutes a new and emerging market for Sportingtech and how does the brand decide to increase its footprint in that area?
An emerging market for us is one that shows exponential growth and has untapped potential. For Sportingtech, this covers both LatAm and Africa. Although both markets are showing significant growth, our award-winning platform will ensure our partners push further and establish themselves as market leaders. Our continued success over many years is due to our understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach never works. We provide a solution that is unique to each operator across all regulated markets and we succeed at this by using our years of local research and knowledge
On the back of our huge success in Brazil, the decision to increase our footprint in the region was an easy one.
Being the number one platform provider in Brazil didn’t happen by accident, we have invested heavily in infrastructure and technology. We have also gone to great lengths in hiring the best people who love what they do and understand that precision, passion, and urgency are fundamental when working in such a demanding market. We have laid the foundation now and we will not be standing still. We will be continuing to look at ways of improving all facets of our offering to maintain the high standards.
What learnings have you taken from your role of Sales Director Africa and how can these experiences be applied when tapping into other locations?
There is a definite crossover between the betting markets in Africa and LatAm. I have been fortunate enough over the last 15 years of being in the industry to work for Tier 1 operators across both B2B and B2C.
Understanding market dynamics is crucial, ensuring best practice is followed. The key thing is to understand that every operator has their own unique needs and delivering products or services that are fully aligned with those needs.
Sports betting has exploded in Latin America, much like it has done in Africa and understanding this proved to be popular as we made our presence felt. Of course, LatAm is a different beast with comprehensive regulations, but following the same patterns should result in commercial success for our partners.
Regarding LatAm, many of our competitors see the region as an opportunity, but fail to actually get meet operators and hear about their plans first hand. This is something we do differently as we believe in partnerships and understand what makes our partners tick. This is something you can’t find out over email or a video call.
As has been the case for the last few years for Sportingtech, our commercial and technical teams will be out travelling to meet existing and potential customers, not just at the industry shows but also for dedicated visits.
LatAm is a huge focus for the industry, and with Brazil recently giving the green light to regulation, what do you expect from that market in 2024?
First and foremost, market growth. With increased accessibility and a legal framework in place, more operators are likely to enter the market. This will lead to a broader range of gaming options for consumers. This increase in activity will have a positive impact on the economy, which can be significantly boosted through tax contributions and the creation of new jobs.
More licensed operators mean more options for the customer, and stiff competition between brands. With operators vying for a strong foothold in the market, they will be striving to create the best products and services to differentiate themselves. Unsurprisingly there will be a lot of interest from international brands who can bring expertise, capital, and perspectives from different markets to enhance the industry in the region.
To help maximize this engagement, the technology offering must be reliable. The integration and utilization of technology across all devices can enhance the betting experiences for players and this can be accelerated if the appetite is there.
Just because regulation provides a legal framework, there are still challenges in enforcing these regulations. There is still work to be done by the authorities to ensure a safe environment. Make no mistake, there is a huge opportunity to implement comprehensive measures for both operators and players, and ensure the region thrives.
Finally, the societal impact of gambling, both positive and negative, may become a subject of discussion. Advocacy groups and policymakers may address concerns related to addiction, social inequality, and the overall impact on communities.
It is essential to keep in mind that the success of the regulated gambling market in Brazil will depend on the effectiveness of the regulatory framework, responsible industry practices, and the ability to balance economic benefits with social and ethical considerations.
Are there any other regions in LatAm that you deem to have untapped potential?
Mexico already has a well-established gambling industry, but there is still potential for growth, particularly in the online and mobile betting sectors. The Mexican government has been considering regulatory changes to accommodate new forms of gambling.
Colombia was one of the first countries in Latin America to regulate online gambling. The market is considered relatively open, and further growth anticipated, especially in the online casino and sports betting segments.
Peru’s gambling industry, including casinos and sports betting, has been growing steadily. The government’s openness to regulation and the country’s economic stability make it a potential area for further investment.
Sportingtech’s success in Brazil means that these areas bring their own opportunities and is the next natural step for us to enhance our already outstanding credentials in LatAm.