Moderator and Co-Founder of SiGMA Group Eman Pulis was joined by Susan Breen from Miscon, Andre Gelfi from Sao Posta and Christina Romero from Loyra to discuss the M&A appetite across the Latin region during SiGMA Americas Virtual Summit.
Untapped markets of LATAM drawing in investments
Within the gaming market, we can observe a trend away from Europe and towards places like Africa, the US and LATAM. These untapped markets have huge potential for investors, particularly from an online gaming point of view given the surge in response to COVID-19. M&A appetite in LATAM: all eyes on untapped markets
Panelist Breen discusses the investment in LATAM and cues future investors should take notes on. He touches on a “more willing government perspective” compared to places such as Asia.
What we have here is an economic deficit that is potentially extreme right across LATAM, and there will therefore, be the desire and the will of governments to encourage tourism and economic rebuilding and collaboration with the private sector. And that will be external investors, whether they are operators or financiers. And that will be right across integrated resorts, down to online land-based slots, you name it, sports betting.
One can fall into the trap of addressing LATAM as a region, disregarding the drastic difference in culture and regulation between each country. Romero stresses this importance by stating:
"I think every country is one in itself. So, every country deserves a different approach. That's something that we've seen. And it really has to be tailor made. And every partnership is different. Every tax rate is different. Every regulator is different”.
Breen adds to this point stating: “[cultural norms] are absolutely critical to make success of any business. You just can't go headfirst into these markets and not understand what you do”.
Online vs Offline
Is there a contrast of interest for casino and online gaming in LATAM? The general consensus could lead you to believe casino, however there has also been key interest in online gaming as Romero argues.
She continues, providing examples of jurisdictions to keep an eye on:
We now have the online regulation in place and we're seeing international operators penetrating the Panama online market. Also, hand-in-hand with local land-based casino operators, which is quite interesting. We are waiting for Peru to finally settle down on online. But there's a lot of interest also in the retail market in Peru and the sports that the retail market, It's very interesting. We are also seeing, as you mentioned, in Mexico. Mexico is one of the markets where we've been more active during the last few years.
SiGMA Group Americas Digital Summit is running from the 22nd to 24th September, bringing well-known faces from the Latin American gaming and tech sector to a series of in-depth debate panels, with content offered in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
The 7th edition of SiGMA Europe will move its November event to February 16th to 18th 2021.