Operators looking to enter new and emerging markets must keep a closer eye on regulatory changes, which can happen considerably quicker than more mature markets.
That was the view of Vadim Potapenko, Head of Sales at Slotegrator, who explained how the company’s jurisdictional services can “get the licensing process squared away”, leaving the operator to focus on marketing and operation strategies.
SBC: In the last few weeks, Slotegrator has expanded its services into a whole host of new markets including Greece, Lithuania, Germany and Brazil – just to name a few! Can you tell us a bit about why you chose these markets in particular?
VP: Operators are interested in these markets for a couple of reasons — mainly their sizeable populations and the players’ betting habits.
In Germany, a substantial portion of the population views responsible gambling as a legitimate pastime, so it was a no-brainer that we’d dive in as soon as the recent interstate treaty came into force. Greek authorities have finally resumed issuing new permanent licences after postponing the rollout of the new regulatory system several times, providing another opportunity within the European market.
Lithuania’s iGaming explosion over the past few years put the Baltic nation on our radar, and when the government announced plans to make the licensing process simpler, we were ready and waiting. And while Brazil has been trending for a couple of years now, with over 200 million people, there’s definitely still room for new brands to succeed.
SBC: How will Slotegrator help operators to enter these new jurisdictions?
VP: Long story short, our products and solutions nail down the technical side so operators can focus on marketing and operation strategies, and our jurisdictional services get the licensing process squared away.
Our Turnkey and White Label solutions are fast and (cost-) efficient ways to get an iGaming business up and running, and for established platforms, our APIgrator solution can add thousands of game titles in a single integration session. We also have sportsbook and payment service solutions, so pretty much anything operators need — we have it.
New iGaming businesses need licences to operate legitimately, establish their credibility, and partner with payment service providers. Our licence acquisition and jurisdictional advisory services can help prospective operators find the jurisdiction that best suits their needs and goals.
The paperwork required is a common cause of headaches for new operators, so we’re glad we can be there to help. Of course, we’re also there for businesses that are looking to expand their operations into newly opened markets.
SBC: With many of these markets having introduced new regulations / planning to do so in the future, what would you say are the key factors that companies must consider when looking to enter these emerging markets?
VP: The first thing to keep in mind when entering these markets — whenever you’re starting or expanding an enterprise, really — is your budget. You need enough funding to acquire a local license, incorporate a company, pay taxes, and cover player winnings, as well as accounting for other financial requirements like minimum paid-up capital. Plus, you need a solid marketing budget and the ability to spend time building your brand name and reputation before even beginning to turn a profit.
Second, you have to know your player. Player tastes vary from region to region — and country to country — and marketing strategies that work like a charm for some players drive others away. Knowing what works and avoiding what doesn’t will speed up success and help you get the most out of your marketing budget.
Third, simply put, is patience. Don’t count on making your fortune overnight — building up your brand can take 5 years at least. As I said before, it will take time to develop brand recognition and earn the trust of a wide base of players. This is doubly true in markets where education about iGaming isn’t particularly widespread.
And, of course, operators should remember the basic rules of operating an online casino or sportsbook when analysing a market, something we’re always happy to help with.
SBC: And what do you anticipate as being the biggest regulatory challenges when it comes to emerging gaming markets?
VP: One challenge could be the regulators themselves if they’re unused to the gaming industry. Sometimes authorities will impose steep turnover taxes to maximise tax revenues without realising it’s not sustainable for the industry — something we’re glad isn’t happening in the markets I mentioned earlier.
Operators in emerging markets also have to keep a closer eye on regulatory changes, which can happen faster than in more mature markets. They can stay prepared by keeping the precedents set in established markets in mind — authorities often use European standards as a model and follow suit.
SBC: And finally, can we expect Slotegrator to make any new market entries in the coming months?
VP: We’re constantly keeping an eye on regulations around the world and expanding into new markets. Currently, we’re focusing on Latin America — in addition to Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Chile all offer fantastic opportunities. With so many markets offering so much promise, it’s a really exciting time for the industry as a whole.