(Exclusive interview).- Lorenzo Caci, Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships in South Europe and Latin America at Sportradar talked with Focus Gaming News ahead of FADJA.
The upcoming edition of FADJA Colombia is just around the corner, as the event takes place on April 10-11 in Bogotá. The biggest companies in the region are ready to showcase their products and extend their reach across Latin America.
Lorenzo Caci is the Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships in South Europe and Latin America at Sportradar. He also focuses on the Indian, Italian and Turkish betting markets and media markets. Caci talked with Focus Gaming News ahead of this year’s edition of FADJA, and discussed the current situation of Latin America as well as its strategy in the region.
Betradar offers and delivers different services to different clients in the same country. How do you prepare for events like FADJA while knowing that your portfolio has such different highlights? Do you prepare different strategies taking into account the diversity of the potential clients that visit FADJA?
Our 360-degree betting offering provides everything operators, both large and small, need to run a successful sportsbook. The good thing about the range of products and services within this offering is that they are fully customisable and flexible, meaning any client can integrate whatever they need at whatever level they need. We have done this purposely, using regular feedback from clients, to ensure we can cater to a range of different clients in various markets. This is helpful especially in emerging markets, like the US and Latam, where it is so fragmented and both new and established operators will require different types of services, support and advice. We’re therefore looking forward to FADJA as it will be a great and timely opportunity for us to showcase our portfolio to operators.
Last year you told Focus Gaming News that Betradar prides itself on its flexibility and responsiveness. Latin America is currently under constant development, how does Betradar prepares itself to be ready every time there is a change in the regulatory landscape in the region?
Similar to the US, the laws will be very diverse as areas in the Latam region continue to open, configure and apply betting regulation. We have already seen various approaches, for example, adopting land-based betting only, or seek wider opportunities by allowing for online and mobile betting too.
We are uniquely positioned to be able to work with operators and regulators in Latam, and advise them using our knowledge of established markets and trends in both online and retail.
Sportradar has almost two decades of experience in the betting and gaming space already and now have over 600 bookmaker clients across the world. We also have official data partnerships with some of the biggest US sports leagues, including the NBA, MLB, as well as FIFA and UEFA, all sports that are very popular in Latam. As such, we are uniquely positioned to be able to work with operators and regulators in Latam, and advise them using our knowledge of established markets and trends in both online and retail. Our Managed Trading Services (MTS) and Integrity Services can also assist with risk management and in combatting the threats associated with betting activity. Being prepared in these areas is the key as the regulatory landscape continues to change.
You offer services to sports betting operators, both land-based and online. Brazil approved on December 2018 a bill that would pave the way for a sports betting legalisation, even though it still hasn’t turned into law. Are you studying that specific market in order to be ready to dominate once it is fully legalised? Would you be interested in working with local companies?
As we have been working in the Latam region in other areas that already have passed legislation, our products and services are at a point where they are ready to be offered to any operator either in Brazil, or interested in investing in Brazil.
The key to being successful in areas of Latam is to research and understand what works in more established markets and on a wider, more global scale, and be able to apply this to suit the local region and audiences. Again, Latam is quite fragmented, and mobile and online gaming isn’t as big there as retail, yet. While the passion for sports in South America is incredible, sports differ in popularity from area to area. Brazil is a huge football nation. People still want to bet on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi or the UEFA Champions League, but there is also a big interest in domestic leagues like the Brazilian Serie A. MTS is the perfect solution as it includes all our products and services, retail, mobile and online, under the one umbrella. It allows any operator to build a successful bookmaking business from the ground up, or simply use it where they need by adopting our trading expertise in parts, if they are already established. We also have our new marketing and sponsorship solution, ad:s, which can help operators research and target the right audiences so they minimise marketing spend wastage.
The key to being successful in areas of Latam is to research and understand what works in more established markets and on a wider, more global scale, and be able to apply this to suit the local region and audiences.
In recent months Betradar announced partnerships with companies such as Softgamings, LOT.TO and Tech Games. Are you planning on continuing that trend throughout 2019?
We’re always continuing to expand our client and partner base, and we expect this to continue as emerging markets like the US and Latam, continue to open their doors to legalised betting, with many operators wanting to cash in on the opportunities this inevitably provides. I think the key to our success in having so many clients is that we put them first. As a truly global company, we have representatives based around the world, so are always meeting with clients to discuss their needs and gain feedback, which we use on an ongoing basis to continue to improve and develop our products and services. Sportradar recently held a Latam Connect event in Montevideo for this very reason, to bring our Latam clients together and share this knowledge. We hope to do more of the same as the Latam market matures.
As your presence in the international gaming business is widely spread, what do you think the Latin American region needs for it to keep working on its potential?
I think it’s about the regulators ensuring they are putting in place the most suitable legislation that will be most beneficial for the country and region as a whole. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about opening countries to betting because of the risks associated that can pose threats to the integrity of sports and gaming. However, enacting legislation helps bring black markets into the light, with protocols around who can bet and how, and licenses to ensure operators can be monitored and controlled. Nationally, having betting regulations in place with associated taxes could also help countries develop both financially and socially. Like the US, it will be an ongoing process, and I expect there will be many more changes, for example, as technology and fan engagement opportunities are realised, more provisions may be made for online and mobile betting.