While the Covid-19 pandemic hit the gaming industry in a wide range of ways, especially land-based venues, which were forced to close for extended periods of time throughout the last two years, the situation has also allowed for companies to reinvent themselves. Many of them turned to iGaming and new markets, such as the LatAm one, in an effort to extend their portfolio reach and areas of influence.
Naturally, this process brought along a series of new challenges to the sector, both in terms of compliance and customer protection. In this changing landscape, the role of gaming testing laboratories remained a pivotal one, helping operators, manufacturers and regulators navigate the intricacies of modern entertainment.
In an interview with Yogonet, Marzia Turrini, Executive Vice President EURSAM for BMM Testlabs, reflected on the changes brought by the pandemic and how the gaming certification lab adapted to them. Moreover, she discussed the growth of online gaming and payments in Latin America -a region where these two sectors were in an immature stage before Covid-, and perspectives for 2022.
What kind of changes has BMM implemented in its services and products in order to be aligned with the market's needs amid the pandemic?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, BMM Testlabs has developed very effective work methodologies that have allowed us to continue complying with client needs while applying the same quality standards. There have not been any substantial changes in the online market, and customer service has maintained the same pre-pandemic quality of service. We have optimized our evaluation processes in the land-based market by incorporating "remote verification,” which has allowed us to comply with all traditional standards.
BMM Testlabs offers all essential elements for customers to certify their products while responding to increasingly pressing time sensitivity. The element that distinguishes BMM Testlabs from the competition is our customer service during the entire certification process. We strongly believe in the uniqueness of the customer and create partnerships with our customers, because seeing them grow is our greatest satisfaction.
Restrictions have driven up the growth of online gaming (casino, sports betting, virtual sports, esports and lotteries) and online payment methods throughout these past two years. Unlike other regions, these sectors were not very mature in Latin America. Was this reflected in the type of inquiries BMM received during this period of time?
Undoubtedly, the effect of the global pandemic has impacted the entire Latin American market, and the gaming industry as a whole has seen an increase in the demand for online gaming. Land-based players are implementing defined porting processes to the online segment.
Suppliers and operators in the region have been very active in looking for alternatives to maintain their activities and be able to keep their businesses in production. Regulators have been proactive in including the necessary authorized games options for live casinos and virtual gaming. Lotteries have included online accessibility in their methods of selling numbers and tickets.
All sectors have proved their ability to adapt to the limitations of the pandemic in Latin America. In our case, BMM Testlabs has carried out a significant volume of work for our clients, including various gambling accessibilities for all subscribers.
The percentage of the population that uses banking services and the access to the banking system for gambling companies were always sensitive points in the LatAm market. How fast is technology advancing here? Is there anything left to improve?
Each market has made progress with financial technology accessibility in Latin America. Financial companies and banking services have begun to understand that regulated markets are very reliable for the financial activities that occur in the gambling environment. Undoubtedly, there is room for growth in these relationships, but the progress is very promising.
How has Jon Stuckey influenced the growth of BMM Testlabs and its clients in Latin American marketing so far since joining BMM Testlabs in mid-2021?
Jon Stuckey, SVP Business Development, has been supporting the online gaming market in Latin America from all angles since joining BMM Testlabs in mid-2021. Jon, in conjunction with his team, has developed a strategy that not only assists BMM Testlab’s current Latin American clients entering this growing market, but also enables new prospects to enter.
BMM Testlab’s vast knowledge of the Latin American market is recognized by customers and allows new clients to gain fast entry into the market. This, and the increased push for digitization of existing products, have resulted in many online business houses from around the globe gaining interest in entering the Latin American market. We predict continued exponential growth in Latin America in 2022, led by Jon Stuckey and his team, as many more clients move to a digital platform.
What scenario do you project for 2022?
We are very confident that 2022 will be a very good year for the gaming industry. Latin America has shown promising signals in several countries that are in the process of regulation and opening of new markets.
Latin America is becoming a very interesting market to develop businesses, for both local and corporate gaming companies. In fact, many global gaming companies are already present in Latin America, which is an excellent sign.