Alfredo Lazcano: “Regulate from the basis of understanding, not prohibition or prejudice”

Lawyer Alfredo Lazcano, from Lazcano Sámano, a law firm of legal experts in Gaming, Fintech, and Media based in Mexico City, participated in an exclusive interview with Yogonet to analyze the closing year. The specialist highlighted the ‘exponential growth’ of online gaming and the emergence of a new industry segment, digital entertainment; and urged authorities and regulators to ‘allow the full recovery of our sector.’

After two pandemic years, what is your assessment of the sector’s performance in 2022? What was the role and contribution of the Lazcano Sámano study in this context?

The Mexican gaming sector, in general, has shown a unique and admirable strength because it went through the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic without any type of stimulus from the government (something that other industries did receive). However, it is important to distinguish that in-person gambling and online gambling face very different challenges: the former still exhibits signs of damage and does not seem to be able to recover to pre-pandemic levels; on the other hand, the latter came out of the sanitary contingency much stronger.

At Lazcano Sámano we have a symbiotic vision, so in the face of the crisis we promoted a policy of solidarity with our clients, and we prioritized the welfare of our work team. A virus changed forever the way of doing business. This marked an unprecedented situation for which clearly none of us was prepared, so we learned in the process and managed to adapt to the changes. Pleasantly, Lazcano Sámano was strengthened by this strategy and the human talent of our firm grew.

Since the pandemic, how do you evaluate the impact of the online sector on the industry? What can we expect from this segment? 

Online gaming had already been growing rapidly since before the pandemic, but thanks to the explosion of e-commerce that caused the global confinement, today this growth is exponential, surpassing the pre-pandemic forecasts.

Lazcano Sámano is confident that online gaming will continue to grow, driving technological innovation. As we have explained in our sector’s events and forums, the lines that divide the games we traditionally label as gaming and gambling are blurring. As specialists, we are observing that sports, video games, betting, competitions, social platforms, streaming, financial technologies, marketing, affiliates, etc. seem to be merging into a new industry segment: digital entertainment.

2022 also meant the return of in-person activities in different events around the world. What is your assessment of the fairs held this year?

While it is true that many things have changed to a point of no return, such as the hybrid or remote work model, the return of in-person activities shows us that human beings are social by nature and that we need constant physical interaction. This year I was very pleased to see that the fairs have the same or more affluence than in 2019, which also speaks of our resilience as an industry. 

What can we expect from Lazcano Sámano in 2023? Can you anticipate any specific activity or agreement?

We expect to continue our leadership as legal experts in the gaming sector in our region. Both our legal and administrative teams have grown this past year, allowing us to take on more cases and maintain the quality – and professional ethics – that have always set the firm apart.

Unfortunately, we cannot disclose specific agreements because of the confidentiality we owe our clients, but we are prepared to continue serving 2023 the most influential companies in our sector, as well as the governmental entities that have trusted our expertise.

What would be your year-end message to the sector, how will the industry continue to grow, or what changes do you think are in store for 2023?

Firstly, we would like to thank our clients and collaborators for a very successful 2022.

Secondly, we would like to tell the entrepreneurs in our industry not to hesitate to invest in their businesses and the people they depend on. It is true that land-based operations (physical casinos) face greater challenges since the pandemic, but there are also unexplored areas of opportunity today. The rules have changed; businesses that understand this are thriving despite any crisis.

Last but not least, we respectfully ask the authorities and regulators to allow the full recovery of our sector. Our economic activity generates substantial jobs and taxes; however, it does not have the support it should, and sometimes it is even neglected. Please regulate from the basis of understanding, not from prohibition or prejudice.