Maxim Slobodyanyuk, CEO at Atlas-IAC, talked to Focus Gaming News about Brazil’s huge potential once regulations are passed, and much more.
Exclusive interview.- The LatAm market is a challenging and dynamic market which is rapidly growing and opening up to new possibilities. After SiGMA Americas 2023, that took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Focus Gaming News caught up with Maxim Slobodyanyuk, who was appointed as Atlas-IAC’s new CEO in May, who talked about the company’s expectations in the Latin American region, especially Brazil, a sleeping giant for the gaming industry.
“The LatAm market is one that everyone in the industry is eagerly anticipating to see open up. The region is incredibly dynamic and growing fast, so it’s a great place to be part of. In many ways, Brazil is considered as the holy grail with its sports-loving population, and forecasted projections seem to be even bigger than some have estimated,” Slobodyanyuk said.
He explained that looking at the information available – the major regional operators are already processing $100s of millions in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), which demonstrates the appetite for betting opportunities in Brazil.
Atlas-IAC’s new CEO stated that out of more than 50 operators deploying their market-leading platform and sportsbook, 28 are in Brazil: “This is a real statement of intent, as we look to create a truly established mark here, not only in LatAm’s largest country – but also the wider continent,” he said.
Slobodyanyuk added: “To put our success here into perspective – we now have multiple case studies that showcase to brands how delivery and integration time may take only two days with Atlas-IAC, making us a tech supplier that can offer something truly different.”
As to their expectations, he said he has no doubt they will be continuing to build their fast-growing profile as “one of the continent’s most exciting brands.” With Peru soon to be regulated, Atlas-IAC has big plans for the market, as well as taking their already popular credentials in Colombia to the next level.
When asked about his vision regarding the many discussions and turns that have taken place on the road to regulating sports betting in Brazil, Slobodyanyuk said it has been a long process, but it needed to be thorough and meticulous, to weed out any unlawful activity to protect players: “Ultimately, I think the measures that have been discussed, including the taxation proposals, are reasonable,” he stated.
For Slobodyanyuk, the Brazilian government wants to see a benefit to the country’s wider infrastructure, and a 16 per cent GGR tax on gambling operators will hopefully have a positive impact on the country. The tax allocation has been predetermined, with funds set to support various critical organizations, encompassing public welfare, basic education, sports clubs, and social projects.
He also thinks the proposed measures taken to maintain a strong stance on responsible gambling “is admirable” and added: “With brands mandated to conduct awareness and prevention campaigns, this will hopefully safeguard the mental wellbeing of gamblers by mitigating the risk of betting addiction, and ensure a safe environment for everyone.”
Focus Gaming News asked Atlas-IAC’s CEO what role he thinks operators and tech providers should take based on the known cases of manipulation of results, especially taking into consideration the recent match-fixing scandals in Brazil, which saw 16 people, including seven professional soccer players, charged with alleged match-fixing and illegal betting.
“Combating illegal betting requires greater cooperation and collaboration between all stakeholders, and this includes operators, governments, regulators, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and the media. Because of the international nature of illegal betting, this collaboration and cooperation also needs to cross borders,” Slobodyanyuk responded.
“Combatting illegal betting requires greater co-operation and collaboration between all stakeholders.”Maxim Slobodyanyuk, CEO at Atlas-IAC.
He also thinks tech has a part to play, too and added there are a number of tools and integrations within a tech stack that can prevent problem gambling and fraudulent activity already.
“To ensure operators are not exposed to any of this activity, we have integrated a Risk Management Tool to combat this. Our fully comprehensive offering is capable of instant identification and tracking to minimize the risk for operators, with over 200 triggers for data analysis. With customization for each operating website, operators have full control over the processes, something they greatly value,” he said.
Asked about Slobodyanyuk’s expectations for his role as Atlas-IAC’s CEO, he stated: ”It is our core mission to deliver the advanced and innovative tech solutions that make gambling management simple, clear, profitable and enjoyable for both customers and operators.”
For him, emerging markets in LatAm are definitely at the forefront of their minds: “As mentioned before, the continent will no doubt continue to be a key part of our plans for years to come. We’ve got some of the best sportsbook technology on the market and a team full of real talent. The key now for us is to take our excellent success in recent years and start establishing ourselves as one of LatAm’s most exciting, dynamic providers,” he added.
With Peru coming online, as well as their established presence in Colombia, Atlas-IAC’s reach in Latam is already extensive, with Mexico as another major location on their radar. “As one of our unique selling points is the ability to take clients live in just two days when switching to our platform, I am very confident that our market share will continue to grow at an exponential pace,” he said.
Regarding Atlas-IAC’s participation in SiGMA Americas 2023, Slobodyanyuk told Focus Gaming News attendees were keen to discuss the latest news with other delegates and get a clearer picture of the current LatAm landscape.
“The fact that this year’s event was moved to a bigger location is a testament to its importance within the industry and also emphasises how crucial this time is for online betting in the region,” he said and added that the opening keynote speech on the importance of sports betting in Brazil was highly insightful and certainly caused many discussion points.
“SiGMA Americas is always a key event in the calendar, and the 2023 event took on even more importance with regulations hopefully getting closer.”Maxim Slobodyanyuk, CEO at Atlas-IAC.
Atlas-IAC’s noted that the number of panels throughout the event covered a wide range of topics so that all areas of online betting in the region were addressed, from compliance and regulation to new business opportunities. “The depth of content ensured that attendees could take away key learnings for their businesses, no matter their current priorities,” he said.
When asked about what lessons did they take away from the congress, Slobodyanyuk answered that most notable for them was the scale at which the Brazilian market will move once regulations are passed: “I think most knew the market would be lucrative but it may well have been underestimated, with nearly a quarter of a billion people in Brazil, the potential is simply huge,” he said.
“Operators are gearing up for what will be an important moment in the history of the online gambling industry, and they are leaving no stone unturned as they navigate their way to providing unique content for such a large and diverse audience,” concluded Slobodyanyuk.