AT Virtual Expo is an evolution from FADJA. How important is it for the industry to keep spaces for gaming debate and trade shows during COVID-19? What are Vibra Gaming's expectations for the event?
In general, I think that the COVID era has shown us that there are other ways of doing things. Even if that means working from home in between kids’ zooms, or not getting on a plane and meeting on a virtual expo hall. The key part to me is to keep the channels open and make an effort to meet, connect, and discuss in any way we can. In that sense, I think GAT Virtual Expo is very important and Vibra Gaming’s mission is to establish our brand in the industry and especially in LatAm. Because of our experience in regulated markets and the potential we see here, we want to become the region’s go-to partner. We have attended the GAT expo in the past and it is on our 'must go' list always. It will be interesting to experience this creative approach to get us all together again..!
Why is Colombia an important market for Vibra Gaming as an online gaming provider?
Colombia is a very interesting leading case in Latin America as they have incorporated most types of gambling to their regulation including casino and sports betting, and they did a good job in terms of implementation, results, and tax collection. Taking this gaming variety into account, the market has become very important both for our games and our technologies. Also because Colombia is leading the way here, it will set many of the trends and outcomes that we will see happening shortly elsewhere in the region. In terms of the end-user, I think it will also show us players' preferences and adoption curves, so we do want keep a close eye on what’s going on here.
Which would be the best scenario for the Colombian gaming industry in 2021?
I think that the best scenario is to continue to see the market grow and evolve as it has done. The addition of live dealer gaming makes the available gambling spectrum even broader, which results in a more competitive and interesting offer to players. I think that the combination of online and land-based in 2021 will give the opportunity for real omnichannel strategies and it will interesting to see how the market and the players evolve to those possibilities.
You have just launched a new title, Popeye Slots. What are the most appealing features of this game for both operators and players in Latin America?
I think fans of the comic and the cartoon are going to love Popeye Slots as it captures the look and feels of the story perfectly, creating a sense of nostalgia and recognition that will be hugely appealing. Of course, we believe it will appeal to all player types and have made sure that it delivers a fun and entertaining experience with the chance to win big through the range of bonus features including Wilds, Respins, and Free Spins. I think operators will also find the appeal in how the game combines the original elements of the story and takes advantage of the brand in order to combine it with very attractive and current gaming features.
Broadly speaking, which are the most urgent advances that LatAm jurisdictions need to implement in terms of certification and compliance to take full advantage of the new opportunities posed by the online arena?
I think that a market becoming regulated is very necessary, specially in current times. It provides protection to the player, guarantees a level of quality in the service, it generates jobs and governments collect taxes. In countries where gambling is not regulated, people play all the same and the informal sector grows. Considering the current situation, I believe that all landbased operators and regulators that delayed or even stopped online gambling processes are now wishing they could turn back time and make some different decisions. Nobody knew or anticipated anything like this to happen but regardless, online gambling has been around for a while, and the lack of action in catching up with it left a lot of companies and jobs very exposed and defenseless. That’s why I think advances need to come thoughtfully as well as swiftly.