In an exclusive interview with Yogonet, Marc Crean, OpenBet’s commercial Vice President for Latin America and Canada, reflects on a positive return to G2E Las Vegas and how the event provided an ideal platform to demonstrate the company’s continued US growth and ambitions for the LatAm market.
What is the balance of your participation in G2E this year, and how did you experience this recent edition of the show, in which we could see a return to normality after the pandemic?
It was incredibly rewarding to meet with delegates at this year’s G2E. Our brand presence at the event was utilized to great effect to highlight our modular product suite, which includes all the features you would expect to see from the world’s leading sports betting entertainment provider, covering a vast range of technology, content, and services.
We have seen exponential growth in recent months, and our platform’s ability to scale and take huge volumes of bets on the largest sporting events at peak times is unrivaled in the industry.
This reliability and stability are critical for our partners to spend more of their time on marketing activities around the most prestigious sporting fixtures, such as the World Cup, safe in the knowledge that the platform won’t let them down. The high-quality content available on our platform, with SportCast’s industry-leading BetBuilder solution at the helm, gives us the confidence that we can achieve continued growth.
Of the offer you presented, which products were the most attractive to visitors at G2E?
G2E’s home in Las Vegas gave us a great chance to gauge the excitement for the World Cup in both the US and LatAm markets. Regulation is accelerating across LatAm, and with a number of its teams qualifying for the World Cup, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Uruguay, operators have never been in a better position to bring the next generation of sports betting to the region. Demand for our content products, such as BetBuilder, was predictably high given how important they have become in generating growth globally.
Beyond this, G2E also gave us a great opportunity to showcase our omni-channel offering to clients who due to the pandemic may have only seen a slide deck version before. OpenBet has a strong track record of delivering the very best in sports betting entertainment within any setting, from land-based casinos to sports bars, and from the betting kiosk to mobile devices.
Given the diversity of players and market characteristics across Latin America, I think the product mix and omni-channel coverage give Latin American operators the flexibility they need to react to rapidly changing, and often unique, consumer behaviors in their markets. The marketing team did a fantastic job in our stand-build at G2E, which really brought to life how OpenBet facilitates exciting experiences across multiple channels.
Of the major international exhibitions, G2E is arguably the first face-to-face event with a large presence of products for land-based and online casinos. Based on this, what trends do you think will set the direction of the industry in the coming months in this segment?
The popularity of same-game parlays will continue its upward trajectory, as an avenue for catering to increased bettor demand. Additionally, the ability to leverage detailed and accurate sports data will be crucial in catering to the increased demand for betting options.
The markets provided by the likes of SportCast could prove essential in the coming months – operating alongside the rich data provided by StatsBomb, SportCast can broaden the markets it offers through reliable data, creating the ultimate experience for them. The ability to boost a player’s props offering in such a way will give operators the confidence to offer sought-after markets during flagship sporting events, in particular the World Cup.
Early estimates place bets wagered during the tournament to exceed $231 billion in the US and, if 2018’s World Cup is any indicator, this is likely to be surpassed, with more than 177 million bets processed and a peak of 18,000 bets per minute placed for a single sportsbook at the last event. LatAm forecasts indicate a similarly positive trend, so we are well-prepared for another record-breaker in terms of stake and bet volumes on all fronts.
OpenBet’s track record in this space is unsurpassed – the market-leading multi-channel supplier within sports betting entertainment, our considerable experience in delivering sports betting experiences to the market has seen us spearhead multiple launches across online, mobile and retail, and ahead of the World Cup, we are once again trusted by a significant number of top-tier sports betting operators to perform on the biggest stage.
Sports betting is a fertile field in Latam, given the opening of new markets in recent months. How does this market influence the company’s plans, and what plans do you have to take advantage of this phenomenon in the region?
LatAm is at the center of our growth planning. The passion for sports and the rapid opening of new regulated markets makes it the perfect territory for us. It’s important to remember that LatAm is not one homogenous market though. Each country has its own unique economic, cultural, and consumer dynamics which need to be understood and addressed.
The sports product mix is very different from country to country and payment behaviors vary significantly. Partnerships will be key and as well as building the right products for each market we are really focused on making sure we can bring our unique, open, approach to the partnership to the region and replicate the success we’ve had all over the world.
Like every other region we enter, our ambition is to create market-leading positions for all our partners by building a sports entertainment ecosystem around our market-leading products and services. The breadth and strength of our product portfolio and our commitment to an Open Platform approach mean that our partners have an unparalleled opportunity to create world-class, differentiated experiences for their players and respond to a rapidly changing environment.
The strength of our content offering will also be key. From our client-centric trading offering to our market-leading, multi-sport BetBuilder product, we are uniquely positioned to deliver tailored, market-relevant solutions to our partners and their players.
How much do you consider the opening that has been seen in the online gaming segment, both in the United States and in Latin America in the last two years, influences the product development strategy of the company?
The rapid rise of legalized sports betting across North America and LatAm brings great opportunities for everyone in the industry. As with all markets, it’s important to understand the users and local needs and these markets are no different. Industry forecasts suggest the LatAm sports betting market is to become one of the fastest growing in the world, particularly if Brazil introduces a regulatory framework.
As an indicator of the potential here, $4.8 billion GGR is expected to be driven by players in the LatAm region by 2027, with $1.8 billion GGR anticipated to be generated by the US Hispanic community in 2027, while 25% of Generation Z in the US will be Hispanic by 2025. By the end of this year, we could be in a position where Canada, the US, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile, and Brazil all have regulated markets.
The breadth of demand and variety of needs makes for a really interesting situation and suppliers and operators will need to balance tactics and strategy carefully, partnerships will be key. These are the factors that drive our thinking in product development and market entry strategy and with the right partnerships OpenBet is well positioned to take a market-leadership position across the region as we have elsewhere in the world.