oderator and Co-Founder of SiGMA Group Eman Pulis was joined Tuesday 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 the ongoing SiGMA Americas Virtual Summit.
Within the gaming market, there is a trend away from Europe and towards places like Africa, the US and LatAm. The "M&A appetite in LatAm: How hungry are investors for new markets?" panel on day one addressed these untapped markets, which have huge potential for investors, particularly from an online gaming point of view given the surge in response to COVID-19.
Breen discussed the investment in LatAm and cued future investors should take notes on. She touched 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."
Romero stressed the importance of considering the drastic difference in culture and regulation between each country of the LatAm as a region: "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 added 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”.
Furthermore, Romero said there has been a key interest in online gaming, besides the casino segment. "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 22 to 24 September, bringing renowned experts 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.