SSG: Latin America becoming ‘front of mind’ whilst Europe navigates regulation
Analysing trends from across the global sports betting industry, Spotlight Sports Group (SSG) has published its second review of the sector, BetTech Ecosystem 2022.
Conducted by the company’s internal research team along with independent experts, the study focuses on the regulated betting sectors in Europe and the Americas, evaluating regulatory, operational and M&A trends.
Investigating the two aforementioned regional markets, SSG noted a ‘hardening of the regulatory environment in Europe’, pointing to measures restricting and in some cases banning promotion of online gambling products in Italy and Spain.
Deposit limits and responsibility regulations in the Netherlands under the KOA Act regime were also pointed to, although the report also acknowledged that online gambling revenue across the continent is expected to increase by 10% to €36.4 billion this year according to European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) figures.
“As the industry has matured on the western side of Europe, it has expanded in central and eastern European territories from the major and more established markets of Poland and Romania to growth in regulated markets such as Croatia, Armenia and Serbia,” the report stated.
Looking across the Atlantic, SSG observed that although the US and Canada are ‘top priority for most global businesses’, Latin American markets are increasingly ‘getting front of mind’ – Brazil, it noted, would have a bigger legal betting audience than the US if it were to regulate online sports betting nationwide.
“That can’t and won’t be missed by any global operator,” the report claimed, although noting that challenges exist alongside opportunities in the region.
“As always, that doesn’t mean it’s right for every business. The required local expertise (language and knowledge) means building the right team and finding the right partners are essential.”
The six Latin American markets with the most potential, according to the report, are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico – the latter two being already established markets, whilst the former four are all considering or in the process of regulating wagering.
In the case of Argentina, for example, sports betting in the the country’s most populous province – Buenos Aires, including the national capital – continues to expand whilst 14 other provinces have also legalised.
“The potential scale that the region provides is significant, with almost 450 million people in the largest five countries,” SSG continued.
However, it was also noted: “It’s also worth remembering that all those countries have had active, unregulated markets for many years and include established operators with high levels of local brand awareness.”
Moving on to examine M&A trends SSG observed that many businesses are looking to expand the ‘suite of services’ at their disposal, such as GiG and NeoGames acquisitions of Sportnco and Aspire Global – including the BtoBet platform – respsectively, to broaden their B2B capabilities.
The group asserted, however, that retention should be the key focus for many sportsbooks, requiring ‘meaningful differentiation’ to offset headwinds that have placed an increased importance on customer loyalty as more users come in across various markets.
Lastly, the report contained a visual showing a breakdown of the ‘core six operational segments’ of global sports betting – platform providers, trading, e-commerce, data, content and igaming.
The number of content providers increased by 75% year-on-year to 114, followed by 56% for igaming (80), 27% for platform providers (47), 32% for e-commerce (49), 13% for trading providers (26) and data providers (70).
“We had an incredible response to last year’s BetTech Ecosystem and we’re delighted to be back with the 2022 version,” commented Alan Davis, SSG Head of B2B Marketing.
“This year we’ve made it bigger and better by expanding the visual and adding industry commentary. What we’ve found from this year’s research is that M&A might have slowed slightly but there is no lack of innovation in the industry.
“The visual continues to expand and while this is not definitive, we feel this gives a snapshot of the industry-leading into the new football seasons either side of the Atlantic.”
To read the full report, click here