30 August 2022
United States
SoloAzar Exclusive

´Latin America is a very promising region bustling with opportunities for the sports betting and iGaming industry:´ Cristian Robalino, SBC

(Miami, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Cristian Robalino, VP Marketing, Americas at SBC, was interviewed by SoloAzar about SBC Summit Latinoamérica. The event takes place on November 1-3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida.

SBC Summit Latinoamérica is the conference and trade show for the sports betting and iGaming industry professionals doing business in LATAM or considering expanding their services in the region.

What are your expectations regarding the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica in Miami? 

CR:Latin America is a very promising region bustling with opportunities for the sports betting and iGaming industry. Whether you want to examine it from the market size perspective or the fact that the continent is home to some of the largest world economies, Latin America is not to be overlooked. 

Think of Betsson — one of the largest companies within the industry. When they recently disclosed their Q2 revenue, it became apparent that while the earnings in Western Europe had soared significantly, Latin America became their largest market. That being said, Betsson is just an example. Lately, Latin America has been dominating the industry discourse, as multiple operators are eyeing expansion to boost their earnings in these challenging times.

 SBC comes in to ensure that we create the right environment for these companies and professionals to come together, network, and discuss business opportunities. I see SBC Summit Latinoamérica as the perfect place both for the companies operating in LATAM and the global companies looking to get some local insights.

This is the second edition of the event, and it will be much bigger than the inaugural Summit. The exhibition floor looks great, we have already secured some top speakers, and we've booked fantastic venues to celebrate our industry and talk business in a friendly environment.

Given the massive interest in the region and its emerging markets, I certainly expect that SBC Summit Latinoamérica is going to be a hit!

SBC organizes events worldwide. What are the highlights and the special features of the LATAM show? 

CR:Indeed, our portfolio is very extensive. Some of our events are focused on a specific vertical, like CasinoBeats and Betting on Sports Europe. Some are global, like our flagship event SBC Summit Barcelona, and some are regional, like SBC Summit North America, SBC Summit Latinoamérica, and Canadian Gaming Summit in 2023. 

This focus on LATAM is certainly the one thing that makes SBC Summit Latinoamérica special — it is the go-to event for all the industry professionals looking for business opportunities in the region.

Creating learning opportunities for the attending delegates has always been at the top of our list of priorities. We will have some excellent panel sessions running in three languages, Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and there will be a live translation to ensure that all audience members are on the same page. 

However, for me, the main highlights of the events are the numerous networking opportunities we offer to our exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, and delegates in and out of the exhibition space. We always strive to create the perfect environment for people to chat and discuss business in a more casual setting — in all honesty, that's the primary function of any face-to-face event, and this is where SBC thrives.

The opening and closing parties are going to be a lot of fun and will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, an architectural marvel and a truly iconic building.

In the most exciting news (or at least for all the sports fans out there), the attendees will take a swing at a home run in LoanDepot Park, home of the Major League baseball team Miami Marlins. That definitely qualifies for an unforgettable experience!

What can you anticipate about the ceremony of the second edition of SBC Awards Latin America?

CR: The SBC Awards are a highly prestigious ceremony celebrating the industry's crème de la crème and the rising stars who are already doing enough to impress the sports betting and iGaming world despite being complete newcomers in this competitive industry. We have assembled a hand-picked judging panel of leading industry experts to identify the best entries and determine the winners. 

This will be the second edition of the LATAM Awards show, and we are planning to gather 400 guests for a fun-filled night celebrating the winners. The Mexican sports journalist and television personality Inés Saintz, best known for anchoring the program DxTips, will be our host for the awards and will help us create an unforgettable experience for the attendees.

The 2022 edition of the SBC Summit Latinoamérica Awards will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on November 3 and recognize the top operators, affiliates, suppliers, and payment and compliance specialists in 26 categories. We will celebrate the sportsbook operator of the year, bingo and lottery operator of the year, casino operator of the year, socially responsible operator of the year, casino and sports affiliate of the year, payment solution of the year, employer of the year, among other winners.

May the most deserving companies win!

How has the LATAM sports betting and iGaming market evolved in recent months after the pandemic? How do you see the situation for the near future?

CR: It is crucial to understand that just like Europe or the US, LATAM is highly fragmented when it comes to gambling legislation, and each country comes with its own regulations, making things more complicated for businesses looking to expand their offerings in the region. 

In Argentina alone, each provincial authority and the City of Buenos Aires have their own regulatory entities and set their own gaming and gambling regulations, which shows that there cannot be a unified approach to this matter. 

In Brazil, the proposed gaming legislation was approved by the Chamber earlier this year, but it is still pending consideration by the Federal Senate. The new sports betting laws were passed in December 2018, and the government had a four-year deadline to regulate sports betting. With the deadline approaching this December, there's a lot to discuss, and SBC Summit Latinoamérica is the perfect place for such discussions.

Moreover, just recently, Peru enacted a law that regulates sports betting and online gambling in the country, as the government is looking to meet its economic and social obligations.

A lot has changed across various LATAM markets in recent months. LATAM is evolving, and there are a lot of markets with huge potential in the region, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico. It is very important to grasp the complexities and the uniqueness of each of these markets to make informed business decisions. 

This is exactly what SBC Summit Latinoamérica is about — an exchange of knowledge and expertise among industry professionals from all across the globe. 

How have you chosen the themes for the conferences considering the LATAM context?

CR:Our conference agenda covers a plethora of topics on leadership, regulations and player protection, sports betting innovation, lotteries and iGaming, marketing, media, and payments.

When choosing the themes for the conference program, our main goal was to ensure that all the hottest topics in LATAM are addressed and that all the industry verticals are represented.

We have several interesting panels lined up that will help answer questions like what are the best affiliate marketing strategies when operating in LATAM, how to create the perfect scenario for online betting in South America, and how video games have come to influence casino content.

We have also secured some of the greatest speakers with valuable insights on the state of the industry in LATAM, such as Paris Smith (CEO, Pinnacle), Xabier Maribona (CEO, Grupo Retabet), Lourdes Britto (Directora General, Apuesta Total), Thomas Carvalhaes (Managing Director, Vai de Bob), Andre Gelfi (Managing Partner - Brazil, Betsson), Gonzalo Perez (CEO, Apuesta Total), Bill Pascrell III (Partner, Princeton Public Affairs Group), Christian Reinheimer (Director Payments Product & Tech, Leovegas), Michael Daly (CEO, Catena Media), Jonas Cederholm (CEO, Game Lounge) and Joaquín Gago (Founder & CEO, BetanDeal), among others.

We will also discuss the transformation of traditional sports and have a dedicated panel covering football clubs launching their own NFTs products. Two representatives from the legendary sports club Boca Juniors, Martin Mendiguren, and Federico Marqués, will join us as speakers.

Finally, we will have some roundtable discussions focused on LATAM's biggest markets, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Uruguay, and Mexico. The format of these roundtable discussions, where people can join the table and ask questions about their market of interest, is very useful for the attendees who are focusing on a specific country.