Interview with Bobby Longhurst, Pronet Gaming’s CCO

"Bespoke platform solutions are far superior to the 'cookie cutter' approach"

Bobby Longhurst, Pronet Gaming’s CCO.
2021-10-20
United Kingdom
Reading time 2:54 min
Pronet's CCO reveals the company is working on "new ways to offer an edge in terms of acquisition and retention" for the upcoming Qatar 2022 World Cup, following the success of sports betting widgets developed for Euro 2020 and Copa America earlier this year. He reflects on trends in the LatAm market and what should market entrants pay attention to in the region. The executive also discusses recent company developments and plans for the next year.

How are Pronet Gaming and its partners preparing for the Qatar 2022 World Cup? What developments are you working on?

The World Cup 2022 is only a year away and, despite all the controversy surrounding the selection of Qatar as host, the excitement is starting to build – not least because it’s probably the last time we will see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi together in the same international tournament.

Naturally, it presents a massive opportunity for us and our operator partners. While we can’t reveal too much at this stage, it’s safe to say that we will once again be working on ways to offer an edge in terms of acquisition and retention following the success of the bespoke sports betting widgets we developed before Euro 2020 and the Copa America earlier this year.

Latin American people are really passionate about soccer and, in the last year, new sports betting operators have emerged in this territory. What should these new market entrants pay attention to amid such competition? What cannot be allowed to take them by surprise?

It’s true that we have seen an increase in online activity across the region, with a trend of many land-based operations making the transition into digital for the first time. We see this as a positive trend and one that perfectly tallies with our on-the-ground expertise and technology.

There are certainly some key elements that providers must consider if they are to help operator partners make a splash in a crowded online marketplace. One such factor is the need to listen to what customers are asking for, rather than imposing a set product on them. Bespoke platform solutions, which take into account differing needs and markets, are far superior to the “cookie cutter” approach.

Land-based casinos are aiming to enter online gambling, including solid and well-established online operators and lotteries. Where does Pronet Gaming see additional business opportunities in Latin America and why?

In general, the LatAm market is booming as we continue to see a widespread move towards regulation. This offers significant opportunities in the region for those established operator brands that have widespread recognition from potential online players.

We’re working with operators in Brazil, where there is a sports-mad population and where we hope the regulated market will be up and fully operational before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar. We also see major opportunities in Mexico, Argentina and Peru, and we are active in these countries in helping retail brands to take their operations online. It’s a fascinating and exciting region, where we’re glad to be working alongside lotteries, media organizations and sporting bodies.

What kind of new providers and content are you looking for?

In North America, we recently completed a deal with Canada’s truenorth.bet where we were able to provide a host of betting markets that hold specific appeal to that region and, in LatAm, the localization of content will continue to be an important factor to consider as we continue to expand.

In terms of casino content, a comprehensive portfolio of video bingos is a must for many of the region’s online operators, and esports is a growing vertical in which customers expect round-the-clock events with In-Play betting opportunities.

The company is clearly growing. What goals do you have for 2022?

We aim to continue to burnish our reputation as the go-to platform provider for emerging markets, with an eye on traditional markets as we continue to expedite the rollout of our services into more jurisdictions. Our focus on true product localization and customization through bespoke UI/UX plays a big part in that. This is particularly important within LatAm, where every country has unique challenges ranging from payments and technical infrastructure to network and connectivity.

A deep understanding of the landscape is key to achieving success within it and, given the vast knowledge that our team possesses, we are very excited about what next year will bring for the business.

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