We’re ready for LatAm regulation, but many won’t be

Ahead of SBC Summit Rio, EveryMatrix’s Chief Commercial Officer Bobby Longhurst outlines the massive opportunity that the online casino and sportsbook supplier has in Brazil and explains how its experience of other complex regulatory frameworks gives it a headstart over its competitors.

Brazil is one of the hottest countries on the industry’s lips at the moment. What plans does EveryMatrix have for the Brazilian market and what activities do you have there?

We’ve been working with partners in Brazil and the wider LatAm region either via casino direct integration via CasinoEngine or aggregation via SlotMatrix for some time and have seen a steep rise in activity and customers’ Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) as online casino and sports betting regulation inches closer.

One example of rapid LatAm growth is our work with Betwarrior. In 2018, we partnered with the brand in LatAm and Canada. Within a year it experienced positive initial results. Fast forward to early 2020 it secured a temporary online gambling licence for Argentina for two associated casino groups. This proved to be a turning point and throughout the remainder of the year brand earnings doubled due to our partnership and technology. By 2022, monthly GGR reached approximately €3 million. In 2023, with the addition of a fifth brand in the province of Mendoza, total GGR doubled again.

We’ve already replicated this success elsewhere in the region and have ambitious plans to do so across Brazil, Peru, Mexico and potentially Chile in the months ahead.

We see opportunities across all our product areas including large sportsbook and/or casino turnkey deals that involve multiple products and services coming together to launch or relaunch operator offerings.

This includes online casino and sportsbook platform; sports data feeds; esports data and odds; affiliate management and affiliate optimisation software and services; gamification; bonus and loyalty features and functionality; localised content, and aggregation; as well as bespoke safer gambling tools and services that we have created for tier-1 customers and that have seen a spike in demand newly regulating and regulated markets.

You have a track record of entering complex regulatory frameworks and delivering success at the same time. Could you provide some examples of this and explain how you helped deliver success for your partners in those complex environments?

We have many case studies where we have successfully navigated, adapted to and launched major tier-1 customers. Our two most recent, and our two largest turnkey launches came last year with bet-at-home in Germany and globally, and the Hungarian Lottery (SZRT).

Germany, for example, has been described as one of the most restrictive markets in the world including, for example, a catalogue of lengthy licence conditions, restrictions on sports betting with no esports or bets on friendly football matches and multiple complex regulations such as on advertising, with some politicians there calling for even tougher measures. Our teams have worked tirelessly to both adhere to every regulation and monitor the constantly changing landscape, while also building bespoke products that fall into line with these rules and that benefit our customers and their players.

Many of our tech stack, product roll out and integration processes were custom-built for both clients with almost every EveryMatrix team joining forces to ensure the successful launch of our OddsMatrix sportsbook, at the core of both projects, and wide-ranging turnkey solutions. This also included our casino platform, player management, payments module, and affiliate software – all designed to further enhance the bet-at-home.de operation driving both revenues and efficiencies.

Our work with SZRT was one of our most complex integrations to date involving multiple teams including GamMatrix, EveryMatrix’s platform unit. GamMatrix purpose-built a range of project-critical operational and safer gambling features including rapid, multi-step registration and a comprehensive array of self-exclusion functionality in line with specific SZRT and regulatory requirements.

Since launch both brands have experienced record growth, record increases in player volumes, and bet levels and GGR are consistently rising which has meant that our sportsbook product has risen to the top of the sports platform rankings and experienced record growth and profitability.

LatAm brands, including WLA-member lotteries, are taking serious notice of the results we’re generating for brands elsewhere in the world and we’re confident we can replicate this success in the region.

What lessons has EveryMatrix taken from these past experiences in other complicated markets and how can you leverage those experiences to be even more successful in Brazil?

There are many areas that separate us from our competitors and you will see this shine through in the months and years to come in Brazil and across LatAm. Many providers talk about regulation and their excitement for Brazil and other LatAm markets but the majority are simply not ready.

The key with any rapidly regulating market is to be fully ready for regulation, which we very much are. We’re already working in eight existing countries across Latin America with ongoing regulatory processes in Brazil and Peru, and with two major clients ready to go live there as soon as the licensing is approved.

We’re ready thanks to our dedicated compliance team that works round the clock to scope markets well ahead of schedule, covering every due diligence process and working closely with regulators to fully prepare us and our customers. We’re also ready from a safer gambling perspective becoming the first igaming supplier to gain safer gambling certification from the World Lottery Association in September 2023.

Others will not be so fortunate and we fully expect to see both incumbent sports betting and casino platforms and product providers fall away as regulation catches up with them.

This shock will happen in two main ways; financially because of high tax rates across both winnings and GGR that will force some companies to exit and due to legacy product(s) simply not being up to scratch. Many platforms there don’t possess the technical capabilities to scale that we do and that we’ve proven time and again. They are already struggling to handle volume leading to poor performance and missed opportunities, particularly ahead of large events such as the start of the Brazilian domestic football season in April.

EveryMatrix, on the other hand, is fully compliant and operational with many clients already live, growing month on month with others waiting to launch, while we will also soon have boots on the ground with a regional office complete with regional experts working side-by-side with our customers, in the same time zone, in the same language and supporting them 24/7.

What part of Brazil’s sports betting and online casino framework do you think poses the greatest challenge for new entrants and, importantly, how can those entrants navigate those challenges?

You could argue that every area of a newly regulating market is challenging but only if you don’t plan for and adhere to them. We are ready, plain and simple, and always ensure this is the case wherever we go next.

Follow all the guidance and work closely with the regulator but be equally prepared for the unexpected as legislation has a habit of rapidly changing.

We have years of experience to lean on and proven processes in place to ensure we and our customers are fully compliant, no matter what happens, while we’ve done a vast amount of homework ahead of LatAm regulation in the same way we’d approach every new territory. There are, however, some common ‘must haves’.

Just a few of these include being able to absorb licence and taxation costs; ensuring your technology is fully scalable to cater to large volumes of traffic and flexible enough to provide localised content to Brazilian players’ specific needs; that you’ve done your research on what Brazilian players enjoy and want to play, what bet types they bet on most, what themes, volatility levels, in-game features they prefer such as Crash content which leads the way there; and do you have adaptable safer gambling measures or tools in place that you can launch quickly and that are proven to make a lasting impact?

EveryMatrix also has wider Latin American ambitions. What are your biggest aims in the region both in terms of the products you are bringing and the countries you are targeting?

We’re already live in eight markets but are focusing on Brazil, Mexico and Peru this year and are working closely with regulators and test labs to ensure our services are ready.

A big part of further establishing EveryMatrix in LatAm this year will be a soon-to-be-announced regional office with localised account management teams to service clients better on the ground. This is something missing across the B2B LatAm space and an area we’re determined to fill. We’ve done this successfully elsewhere so we don’t expect this to be any different.

We’re also busy working on bespoke content for customers, both across our aggregation platform enabling operators to select the best performing content for that jurisdiction, and developing exclusive games such as Crash content which is hugely popular in Brazil.

The final element is we are attending and exhibiting at all the major events in LatAm this year, including SBC Summit Rio where our branded coffee lounge will enable attendees to discuss our latest products and the latest trends in an ideal environment on the show floor.

In other words, you’re going to be seeing a lot more from EveryMatrix not only in Brazil but across the LatAm region in 2024 and we look forward to seeing you all there!

The original version of this interview was published by CasinoBeats.

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