Yossi Abadi: “Looking for quick wins is a quick lose’ in Latin America

Latin America is increasingly drawing the attention of many major international betting operators, but according to Tenlot CEO Yossi Abadi many are not properly taking into account local factors when launching their products.

A number of major international betting and gaming operators have been weighing up their options in Latin America in recent years, with Flutter Entertainment most recently signing a daily fantasy sports (DFS) provision deal with Brazil’s Grupo Globo, whilst William Hill made its first steps into Colombia earlier this year foll;owing its acquisition of Alfabet SAS.

However, according to Abadi, many of these global companies underestimate the importance of localisation, of building strong local connections and the disadvantages of using a European or American approach when entering the region.

Presenting his case to SBC’s Global Relationship Director, Kelly Kehn, on the SBC Leaders Podcast, Abadi maintained that understanding the culture of a local area is vital to success when entering Latin America, as is the case with any regional market.

“I have met many American and European corporations who are trying to impose their own working style into a continent that thinks absolutely differently,” he said.

“What I have discovered in this path is that our administration has had a lot of passion in order to understand that you need to give it a certain amount of time to mature and create a team. 

“More companies look for quick wins, but they have a quick lose. At the end of the day you have to adapt yourself to the countries in which you operate to get an understanding that an American style will not work in Nairobi and a European or British style will not work in Guatemala City.”

In a similar fashion, Abadi outlined his belief that localisation is also a major key to success in the region, as local people require a connection with brands that large international operators are not currently – in his view – providing.

“Of course the South American market is very mature, you can see that in Argentina and Uruguay, you can see the great legislation transformation that we see in Brazil, that is a continental sized effect,” he stated.

“A lot of unregulated countries are going to the path of regulation, but then as mentioned if you take into consideration the fact that Central America has so few innovative products implemented and that the operators that actually access the market are international operators that just added another IP into their system.”

Additionally, the Tenlot CEO put forward the case that many international companies do not fully take into account the ability for local bettors to leverage technology, stating that there is a common belief that in less developed countries there is less developed technology.

This is far from the truth, he argued, pointing to Tenlot’s lottery operations in Kenya, where he observed that many players were extremely adept at using mobile betting technology.

Presenting his case that Latin American customers are more than ready for advanced technological methods of betting, he said: “They use it on a daily basis on their phone when they buy over the internet in ebay and when they order food – they just need the right product.”

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