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Atlas-IAC is ready to engage Latin American audiences



Atlas-IAC is ready to engage Latin American audiences


Latin America brings a huge opportunity for brands to make an instant impact once regulatory approvals are given the go-ahead. The Brazilian iGaming Summit is a key event in the calendar and brings together the industry’s main players and CEO Maxim Slobodyanyuk tells us about the company’s growth plans in the region.


So, are Atlas-IAC all set for SiGMA Americas?

We’re thrilled to be at the SiGMA Americas summit in association with the Brazilian iGaming Summit (BiS). Being here for the full four days, it will no doubt be a fantastic event at the Transamerica Expo Center.


With 28 operators in Brazil already deploying our market-leading platform, we’ve really established ourselves as one of the country’s most popular providers, as well as a regional industry leader across LatAm in delivering tailored end-to-end solutions.

We’re exhibiting our next-generation platform at stand E20, which showcases some of the best technology on the market– reflecting our dedicated commitment to shaping the future of the Brazilian iGaming industry.


Why does this venue hold such an attraction with operators, suppliers and affiliates?

SiGMA Americas brings together thousands of attendees from across the iGaming sector, including sportsbooks, casino operators, developers, bettors, and affiliates.


I have no doubt that it will be a key event for all brands as the Brazilian sports betting, lottery and iGaming sectors inches towards regulation.

Of course, the Transamerica Expo Center is a perfect venue and is able to accommodate 100+ lectures by key thought leaders in the sector, amounting to over 70 hours of high-level content with representatives from 50+ countries.


Which breakthrough technology do you feel will be the big talking point here?

I believe this is finally the moment when Artificial Intelligence (AI) across trading, marketing tools, and data collection finally align for progressively effective modes of personalisation.


If your system truly knows and understands your customer from the start of their journey, a frictionless, personalised experience will be within an operators’ grasp.

In fact, I think high-volume AI systems pose a lot of questions as marketing departments struggle to create cut-through campaigns at scale.

After all, if intelligence is just a matter of data-processing, the gap between the human mind and the functionality and capability of AI is just increasing by orders of magnitude.

At Atlas-IAC, we’ve fostered our reputation around harnessing such automation, building the most advanced, responsive platform that understands the workflow before trying to make it more efficient.



Tell us how Atlas-IAC has expanded in recent history?

Atlas-IAC was founded with the vision of modernising the global sports betting industry. It’s long been clear that manual trading teams would be replaced with data feeds and algorithmic pricing models.

So, with this in mind, the Atlas-IAC founders set out to build a modern, modular and scalable sports betting platform that could replace the legacy sports betting platforms that are still widely used. This has been the key to our impressive expansion.

In total, we have now expanded our operations to serve four continents, with more than 50 operators deploying our market-leading platform and sportsbook across LatAm, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Given that we’re led by a highly experienced management team whose members have worked for some of the leading companies in the industry, we’ve been able to offer something truly different to our competition.



Is there a particular geographic focus of the company?

Emerging markets in LatAm are definitely at the forefront of our minds. The region is incredibly dynamic and growing fast, so it’s a great place for us to be part of.

To put our success here into perspective – we now have multiple inspiring case studies that showcase brands being launched very fast with delivery / integration time taking only two days with Atlas-IAC, making us a tech supplier that can offer something truly different.

In line with that, I have no doubt we’ll be continuing to make our mark in LatAm, with Peru soon to be regulated, as well as further building on our established footprint in Colombia. We feel we have profiled the market both deeply and effectively, and the continent will no doubt be a mainstay of our focus over the coming years.



Looking at Brazil, above all, can you share some of that insight and speak more to the specifics there?

The size of the market is even larger than most commentators have estimated. Looking at information that is publicly available – the major regional operators are already processing $100s of millions in GGR.

To do that, you need to deliver exceptional, hyper-personalised experiences to players, as well as ensuring instant cashout to quickly instil confidence in your brand.

The regulatory framework in place is also conducive to growth, with Brazil’s Ministry of Finance confirming that the sports betting tax rate will be set at 16% of GGR, with 2.5% of the taxes tagged to combat match-fixing and AML.


As for payments, the most popular method is Pix, an instant, frictionless, low-cost mobile payments system developed by the Central Bank of Brazil and launched in late 2020. More generally, this has led to a boost in all forms of e-commerce, not limited to gambling.

One blocker we’re seeing is on payment costs – as gambling-related cash cannot be held in Brazilian bank accounts. The FX spreads on conversion of deposits and withdrawals are high at this point in time, however, this will likely drop to less than 10% post-regulation and will provide some offset to the potential loss of casino.


Which other markets are currently taking your eye in LatAm / South America?

Peru also appeals to us as things stand. Its lenient regulatory frameworks certainly recommends that it should form part of any concerted South American / LatAm regional expansion.


The market is currently fragmented which is also beneficial for a highly agile provider like us. Only those with a licence (which must be renewed annually) will be permitted to advertise or sponsor sports teams in Peru, and there’s a 12% tax on all net winnings.

More broadly, this continent is certainly a rapidly evolving ecosystem where no market positions can be taken for granted, especially if you’re running on outmoded legacy platforms.

Emerging markets are very fragmented. There was a time when six or seven markets would be an attractive proposition for international presence for a global betting brand.

However, what we’ve seen in the modern era is the emergence of lots of national brands, take Caliente with a staggering 75% market share in Mexico, who are not globally-centralised operators.

Remember, every country has their own form of regulation so what matters is knowing the customer, meeting them within their respective content preferences and providing familiarity with a host of localisation techniques.



What are the obstacles to success in LatAm?

LatAm is a football-obsessed territory, and so football must be an important component within your product suite. So, almost without exception, you’re selling the same football-powered product across the continent. However, to succeed, you need to ensure it is complemented and supported by local preferences which can range from mainstream to more localised offerings.

Player habits are also very different. Landing big wins from small stakes has proven to be (and will continue to be popular) in all emerging markets, but these types of bets are great for the operator’s margin, and there’s still a real appetite for these wagers.

More broadly, rapid access to funds, whether it be deposits to withdrawals, is also paramount to making your brand the preferred wallet of any customer.


Customer trust in any operator really hinges on their capacity to pay out in timely fashion, especially with customers heavily favouring the BetBuilder or parlay models. In many cases, you’ll also need to customize your payment methods country-by-country with different requirements.

Localised customer support is also imperative, too. For example, Brazilian Portuguese fluency alone wouldn’t be a plus-point, you need the regional varieties and dialects. This will breed familiarity, trust, and a personalized feel for the users, who are seeking seamless journeys and experiences.

Last but not least – pay attention to your UX. It needs to be familiar to players and easy to navigate, that uniformity will be key if you want to take on the leaders in any given territory.


How Esports Companies Can Address The Confusion Around Gambling



How Esports Companies Can Address The Confusion Around Gambling


An exclusive Q&A w/ Gary Denham, Founder and CEO of Wamba Technologies and Gamer’s Oasis


What inspired you to found Wamba Technologies and develop the patented esports platform, Gamers Oasis?

My motivation was the void of wholly accessible online gaming competitions. Wamba Technologies, in conjunction with Gamers Oasis, aims to create a platform where gamers can engage in fair and constant competition, free from any suspicions of impropriety, while winning money as a result of their performance. Basically, players will be able to pay an entry fee into an online competition, compete, and win money back if they place well enough in the competition.



Could you elaborate on why the misconception of esports as a form of gambling exists despite the legal framework distinguishing skill-based competitions from games of chance?

This misperception arises from the similarities between online esports competitions and traditional gambling activities, particularly where participants are paying an entry fee and vying for monetary rewards. However, at the most basic level, it comes from industry ignorance. 

Anyone who has actually looked at this or participated in esports knows this is no different than tennis, golf, NASCAR, motocross, etc. This just happens to take place online. Aside from that, there is really no difference.



In your recent Forbes article, you draw parallels between online video game competitions and the financial structure of online poker. How do you see this comparison influencing the perception of esports within the regulatory landscape?

This comparison sought to underscore the potential revenue from esports while addressing any misunderstandings regarding its classification as gambling. By framing esports within a recognizable regulatory context and emphasizing its skill-based nature, the intent was to facilitate clearer guidelines and regulations conducive to industry growth. Beyond that, I also wanted to illustrate just how much untapped financial potential exists in the industry, which I aim to capitalize on with Gamers Oasis.


How do you think the historical context of online poker and its impact on the perception of online gambling influences the current discourse surrounding esports and its legal classification?

The confusion and misconceptions stemming from the past have contributed to the ongoing debate over whether esports should be deemed a form of gambling, despite its inherent emphasis on skill. Here is where it becomes very clear: remove the internet from the equation and consider the question again.  


Has anybody looked at “real life” video game competitions as “gambling” in the last 40 years (aside from Las Vegas trying to get their hands on it, and failing)?  Of course not.  So why would featuring the same exact competitions on the internet suddenly somehow magically make this gambling? 

It doesn’t. Ergo, this is CLEARLY not gambling.


What measures do you believe are necessary to establish clear guidelines and regulations for esports, ensuring both consumer protection and industry growth?

Nothing governmental. I think where esports are concerned, regulators need to stay out of it. 


Will they? Only time will tell — but we don’t regulate golf, NASCAR, tennis, or any other sports. Sure, they each have their own rulemaking bodies, but those are not governmental entities, nor should they be.  

I think that to make an exception for esports would set an extremely dangerous precedent and open up all sports to such regulatory oversight. Quite frankly, the day I see the government actually make something in corporate America better, I may be willing to revisit this sentiment. Until then….


How much of the gaming population do you expect to be interested in a platform like Gamers Oasis?

With approximately 660 million actual and potential esports players globally, I expect a significant portion of the gaming population to be interested in a platform like Gamers Oasis. Hundreds of millions of players are traveling to various locations to participate in competitions already.  


To give them the ability to simply access this from the convenience and comfort of their own home is something that has gone over exceedingly well in all other comparable situations which we’ve seen. Banking. Shopping. Poker. Collectibles. Multiplayer, casual gaming. Now we’ll see it with video game competition.


What can you share about monetization issues in esports and how Gamers Oasis plans to tackle the problem?

Monetization challenges in esports often stem from an attempt to mirror the traditional sports’ viewer-based model, where money is made by bringing fans out to stadiums or by encouraging them to buy merchandise.  In this model, revenue comes from ad sales and sponsorships in addition to gate sales and merchandising. 

While that works with traditional sports, it doesn’t translate well to esports. However, with the ease of access to gaming reaching an exponentially larger number of players than traditional sports reaches viewers (basically, not everyone can throw a baseball, but 40% of earth’s population plays video games), focusing on a player-based model that encourages everyone to participate, rather than merely making them a viewer, can produce far greater emotional attachment to the sport resulting in more participation time, more monetization opportunities in general, and ultimately, as a result, more revenue. Simply put, viewers generate some revenue for the sport, but players can be worth much much more than viewers. In video games, every viewer is a potential player, so, let’s make them players!


This is where Gamers Oasis will shine. We are developing technology that will allow players of all skill levels to compete and to know that they are engaging in fair competition. Basically, you could be a bad player, but know that you will only be competing against other bad players, giving you a real chance to win money. This is something that nobody else has seemed to be able to produce in a meaningful manner.  We have a way to do this and to ensure this fair play. When anyone can win, all will play.  When everyone is playing, the industry experiences exponential growth.


Looking toward the future, what do you see as the future of esports, more specifically in terms of regulatory frameworks and industry development?

One of the fundamental problems esports has had up until now is there is no universal set of guidelines. As I said before, I firmly believe that the government is not the answer.  

With our patent, one of the things we intend to do is to have all parties who are licensing the patent join us in setting up core guidelines for all games which feature our technology.  We see this as a sort of a start in creating that centralized entity which can help establish and enforce certain guidelines, keeping it as a consensus based entity composed of the major parties who are involved with us in these endeavors, a democratic approach of sorts, with us primarily facilitating the laying of the foundation.



What kind of a relationship do you envision between the casino industry and the esports industry?

Casinos are all about entertainment, and esports bring a whole new level of that to their customers. The possibilities are exciting in that whole new esport-themed experiences can be hosted within casinos. And as casinos seek to diversify their offerings to attract younger demographics, esports present a lucrative opportunity for engagement and revenue generation through esports betting and tournaments themselves. 

I think that third-party betting should be separated from any true esports platform. A true esports platform should only have the player paying their entry fees and should not involve third parties wagering on the outcome when they are not actually involved in the competition.  

This is where the casino industry comes in. The casinos can be a distinct and separate entity to facilitate those kinds of transactions, keeping them wholly separated from the platforms featuring esports. 


One of the major reasons for this separation is age requirements. A true esports platform should allow kids (with parental permission) to be allowed to compete just as they do in real life. However, I feel very strongly that wagering on anything as a non-participant should have some restrictions, as it has the means to cause harm to younger, developing minds. By separating the two, we can keep the competition platforms “kid friendly” while still serving the needs of the audience that seeks the other service.


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Why is LatAm such an important market for 3 Oaks Gaming?



Why is LatAm such an important market for 3 Oaks Gaming?


3 Oaks Gaming is beginning to establish itself across regulated European markets, but now it has a focus on gaining a footprint in the rapidly evolving Latin American region.

We spoke to 3 Oaks Gaming’s Account Manager LatAm, Henrique De Simoni, about the distributor’s plans for LatAm and the overall appeal of the region.


3 Oaks has recently signed multiple deals in LatAm. How did those deals come about and are there plans for any more partnerships in those territories?


It is fantastic to sign a range of deals across LatAm, initially in Colombia and Mexico before sealing a number of agreements in Brazil. Colombia, in particular, is now a mature jurisdiction and entering the market there first ahead of other regulated territories was something that we felt was a sensible move for us.

Luckia and BetPlay are two of Colombia’s foremost operators, with a huge network of suppliers under their remit. To sign deals with those two giants undoubtedly bolsters our reputation within the region.

We also have Bet7K and with our portfolio in Brazil and many more operators that are almost ready to go live in the next semester.

Overall, we have connected with multiple casino platform providers, such as Vibra Solutions, Alea, Hub88 and Salsa Technology, extending the reach of our content across the continent and we are excited at what the future holds for us with these partnerships.



Why were Colombia and Mexico first on 3 Oaks’ list when entering LatAm?

Colombia and Mexico emerged as the top choices for several compelling reasons. Firstly, both countries exhibit substantial market potential, with burgeoning populations eager for new and exciting gaming experiences. Additionally, the regulatory landscapes in Colombia and Mexico have been evolving positively, offering conducive environments for the expansion of the gaming industry. This regulatory stability provides a solid foundation upon which we can build our operations and establish long-term success.

Despite Colombia’s rapid maturity within the gaming sector, our thorough analysis identified continued high potential for growth. By securing certification for our games in Colombia, we’ve positioned ourselves to capitalise on the evolving landscape and seize lucrative business opportunities.

Mexico is now the second market in terms of volume, internet betting traffic and great demographic numbers related to gambling in LatAm. This opportunity of offering casino games for Spanish speaking countries that adores sports is something that challenges us and makes the industry more competitive in terms of generating the best premium slots.



What other LatAm regions are 3 Oaks targeting over the next 12 months?

With some provinces in Argentina already regulated, such as the capital Buenos Aires, this is a key market for us as we look to expand across the continent. Argentina has shown substantial numbers in the iGaming market and can easily become the third largest country in terms of GGR.

However, we are also looking at other regions in LatAm as we try and finalise further partnerships here so watch this space as our journey continues!


With Brazil on the cusp of regulation, how do you think the space will pan out over the next 12 months and what plans does 3 Oaks have for the region?


It’s no secret that Brazil has been our number one target and we are thrilled to be live in the jurisdiction through a number of agreements already. Certain analysts predict that the market is expected to be worth over US$3 billion by 2028, which is an astonishing prediction, but also an incredibly exciting one.

We will see an increase of mature companies trying to expand in Brazil and can expect to reach the biggest operators with our approach and outstanding customer experience. We have premium slots, a team that believes in the market and everything to make our brand visible for our Brazilian customers.

These numbers ensure Brazil will be the jewel in Latin America’s crown once it fully regulates, and thanks to the deals we have in place, we feel we are well positioned for future growth when regulation finally kicks in.

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“Francisco Leiva: Forging the Future of the Gaming Industry in Chile”



"Francisco Leiva: Forging the Future of the Gaming Industry in Chile"


In the vibrant gaming industry in Chile, Francisco Leiva’s figure emerges as a key reference. A trained industrial civil engineer, his professional journey spans 35 years, from his beginnings in the public sector to his prominent role as Superintendent of Casinos, and more recently as Corporate Manager of Strategic Development at Marina del Sol. His entry into this industry, marked by challenges and significant achievements, reflects his commitment to progress and innovation. In this interview, Francisco shares his vision, experience, and accumulated wisdom over the years.


Could you tell us a bit about your career, professional trajectory, and path to where you are today; What motivated you to enter the Gaming industry?

I am an industrial civil engineer, and my career started in the public sector 35 years ago. Initially, I worked at the Ministry of Health and then at the Ministry of Finance, where I was involved in the drafting and legislative processing of various bills, such as the anti-money laundering law and the gaming casinos law.


Given my work in the legislative process of the gaming casinos bill, after its enactment in February 2005, President Ricardo Lagos appointed me as the first Superintendent of Casinos to implement the law. It was a significant professional and personal challenge as it involved bringing an industry that was far behind similar developed countries as Chile up to date.


During your time as Superintendent of Casinos in Chile, what were the most challenging tasks you undertook, and what would you say was your legacy in the gaming industry?

The main challenge was implementing the new gaming casinos law, which involved setting up the Superintendency, hiring staff, and preparing all conditions for private investors to apply for new casino operation permits. This led to 52 projects being submitted for the 18 available casino permits, with investments exceeding US$ 755 million at the time. Foreign investment accounted for 55%, and national investment for 45%.

The result was the construction of 18 new casinos along with complementary facilities such as hotels, convention centers, restaurants, and other leisure facilities that turned these areas into tourist attractions in the cities where they were built.


Undoubtedly, the main challenge was meeting the tender requirements within a tight timeframe. We managed to have a competitive process with operators from around the world, radically changing Chile’s gaming casinos industry.

The legacy was transforming the gaming casinos industry from seven municipal casinos to a modern industry with 24 top-level casinos and facilities.


What significant lessons have you learned throughout your career? And what message would you like to leave for future generations?

One lesson is that ambitious goals can only be achieved through dedication and by building motivated teams with clear objectives. It’s impossible to do it alone in tasks like these.


I believe the message is to work with honesty, dedication, and without losing sight of the task entrusted to you.


Knowing you personally, not just professionally, what activity inspires you or helps you achieve balance in your life?

Since I was a child, I have been passionate about playing tennis, and I have tried to maintain this passion even as a senior player. In this sense, I think engaging in sports helps maintain a healthy mind and body, which is essential to counter the stress that comes with demanding and complex work.

Similarly, one cannot neglect family life, as they are the ones who will ultimately support you in difficult times.


In summary, the only way, although not easy, is to harmonize work demands with a balanced life.


Finally, what is your opinion on hosting such an important international event in your country? And in a way, being one of the hosts to such important international personalities.

It is very important for the country to host such events that allow interaction among different actors in the gaming industry. It facilitates the exchange of experiences and networking, allowing the industry to continue developing. It is also important for public authorities, especially regulatory ones, to participate so they can understand the industry’s reality and see where the industry is heading given technological and cultural changes.

Francisco Leiva’s story in the gaming industry in Chile is an inspiring testimony of determination and success. From his crucial role in implementing the gaming casinos law to his contribution to the industry’s growth and modernization, his legacy endures as a beacon of positive change. Beyond his professional achievements, Francisco reminds us of the importance of balancing work and personal life, as well as the need to stay focused on values such as honesty and dedication. His optimism and commitment to the future of the gaming industry in Chile are a reminder that success is achieved through effort, teamwork, and a clear vision.



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