With the LatAm market continuing to fulfil its untapped potential, there is still plenty of decision-making and exciting news to come from the region. With a vision to succeed in Latin America, we sat down with Altenar’s Americas’ Regional Director, Hugo Llanos, to discuss what he believes will happen in the next 12 months.
Talk us through Altenar’s vision for LatAm and success in 2022 – what’s been key to making Altenar one of the most popular providers in the region?
Altenar is one of the best sportsbook platforms currently operating in LatAm. We support and provide our award-winning service to some of the most important operators across multiple countries throughout the region, such as Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and all the way up to Canada. I believe our success lies in both our flexibility and ability to be truly more of a partner in success to our operators, rather than just a provider. We work hand in hand with each of our customers in order for us to help them achieve their objectives.
In your view, how is the LatAm market currently faring? Is it ahead of where you expected to be or is there more work to be done?
The industry used to think of LatAm as the next big thing, a place full of potential that was sitting there waiting to be served. Now a very established continent for online betting, I believe LatAm has already proven to be a very important region for sports betting and iGaming, and one that is really rewarding to the right brands. To achieve that, it has taken local content, local knowledge and a different way of reaching out to the customers. We have come a long way and you can see there are many operators within the region working hard on getting their brands known. Just like all success in business, there’s always more work to be done, but this time I believe it would be more in terms of regulation as the products are now innovating in their own right.
The decision on Uruguay’s bill is set to be discussed further in March. If legislation passes there, how successful do you think that region will be?
Uruguay is a small country in terms of population, but it has always been ahead of the new trends when it comes to discussing hot topics and even including new laws. I honestly believe Uruguay regulating sports betting will really put pressure on others within the region to regulate themselves – and one would hope it would provide a further domino effect for new markets to come online.
Colombia was the first to have the bill passed and they began regulated online gambling in 2016. What does the future hold for quite a mature market now?
Colombia is a real case study of success for LatAm. Since the very beginning of its regulatory process, they had operators signing up and working from the off. Right now, 17 operators are now live in the country, and more licences are expected to be issued in the very near future. Thanks to Coljuegos’ pro-active approach, the local audience was able to find quality entertainment, with the government providing a trusted environment for it to be enjoyed. The economic benefits are also clear, as the iGaming industry creates a lot of jobs directly and indirectly for Colombia given the funding provided via taxation of the industry. As we can see, regulation, when done correctly like Coljuegos has done, is a win-win situation. Of course, given such a conducive environment, I see plenty more room for the industry to keep growing there.
What makes the LatAm market different from any other across the world and why is it so appealing?
For me, it’s two key things – the first being the sheer size of the population (just look at Brazil!), as well as of course the pure passion Latin America has for its sports. Of course, this passion translates into betting and given the demographics, it has the potential to unlock an extensive potential customer-base. As is well known, most of the continent speaks the same language (although each country has its slight variations) except, of course, for Brazil, which in many ways is a sub-continent in its own right and one which holds significant appeal for the industry once it properly regulates.
Where do you see the LatAm region a year from now?
I do believe more countries will be regulating their online environments, and this will create a scenario under which many more providers will be emerging onto the scene, which will no doubt fuel competition, and in turn, innovation. Alongside that, the need to differentiate will create a greater imperative to take a fresher approach to marketing and advertising, but it is no doubt a challenge that the best brands will welcome, as all businesses should. For me, working with LatAm for so long has been a very fun place to operate, and I’m very happy to be part of such an exciting journey.