With Colombia’s regulatory framework widely being heralded as a success, does it allow for greater appetite for innovation within the jurisdiction?
There is absolutely greater appetite for innovation, and we see that with new products being certified all the time. At the same time you can only keep pace with the consumer, especially from a technological standpoint, so it is important to respect their wishes and understand how best to provide a product and an experience that suits their needs.
It is fruitless developing products which are not needed or desired, so it is vital to devise solutions which will add value to a player’s experience. This is encouraged through regulations which clearly work, so Colombia is becoming a hotbed for innovative titles.
LatAm is home to a number of exciting, emerging markets. Do any of these have the potential to be the next big hub in iGaming?
The whole of LatAm is monitoring Colombia and its progress through regulation and its success is a huge stimulus for other countries within the region. Many more opportunities are on the horizon as nations try to follow the example of Colombia. This combined with the lure of taxation and regulation will lead to a natural evolution of the online gaming markets. With such a large, and sports mad, populace, the entire region is very enticing for all.
As with any new emerging market they get to play catch up a bit, but they can also learn so much from more established markets meaning their evolution can be that much faster.
If the countries continue to regulate with success, the entire region could become a focal point for the exciting next phase of iGaming.
How have your products been received in Latin American jurisdictions so far, and what is on the horizon for ESA Gaming in the region?
Together with partners in LatAm we have launched poker with Betplay and it is our ambition to become a leading poker network in Colombia. This obviously relies on shared liquidity within the country, and this again is something we are confident will happen in the very near future. We will also be launching our EasySwipe portfolio in the region with lightweight HTML5 mobile-first games that integrates seamlessly into sportsbooks, allowing users to enjoy the best quality casino games without disrupting the sports betting experience.
Looking further into the future, we want to continue to grow our presence across our entire product range with operators in all of LatAm’s regulated markets.
Will the appetite for niche products, such as esports and virtuals, continue to grow within emerging markets even when sporting events return?
It is inevitable that some will return to what they know and love. While some will strictly focus on sports betting, others have discovered that they enjoy new products, such as esports or virtuals, and will expand their appetites across sports and these newer experiences.
The lack of sport gave a spotlight to these niche verticals, and while they may not now dominate public conscience, the growth afforded will allow for more innovations and a greater level of growth than previously seen for these products that are usually sidelined.
Coljuegos is considering allowing poker liquidity between licenced operators, how important is this for the vertical to truly thrive?
Allowing poker liquidity is fundamental to ensure a level playing field for operators of varying sizes and to ensure poker can really thrive from a player perspective.
If liquidity increases, it will attract more players which will have greater choice, operators will increase revenue, and suppliers will have the perfect proving ground for exciting poker products with a receptive audience.