Continuing to build on our focus on the emerging markets and regulatory changes across Latin America, Continent 8 made a strategic incorporation by appointing Gabriel Szlaifsztein, former CTO for Zonamerica, to the firm’s team as a new LATAM Consultant. With great knowledge of all infrastructure networks in Latin America, our expert spoke with GMB about his new position, the company’s interest in Brazil and its objectives for 2020.
GMB: You have recently been appointed by Continent 8 to work in the region. Tell us a little about you’re arrival and what is your primary role now in this company?
Gabriel Szlaifsztein: I was working as CTO for Zonamerica, a free trade zone, established in Uruguay Colombia, EEUU and China. My responsibilities were to provide innovative IT solutions to +350 companies established mainly in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
Nowadays, my role in Continent 8 comprises mainly of “Business Development”, supporting the global company to interact with companies and regulators in LATAM, detect opportunities and establish an operational infrastructure interconnected with Continent 8’s network of data centers.
What is your opinion about the situation of sports betting regulation in Brazil? First, it was thought about as an unlimited authorization scheme and now they went to grant 30 licenses. How do you see this situation?
At this stage the regulation is leading local operators strategy, if the result is a scheme that will be for 30 licenses, it sounds better than an unlimited number of licenses. Brazil is a very big country, in a regulated and limited licenses market there will be more transparency and benefits for players, operators and the regulator.
You are a consultant for Continent 8 but if the Brazilian government contacts you, what are the first 3 key tips that you would give them in terms of gambling legalization?
- Ensure where data is located
- Clearly define required statistics to assist in analysis and applying fair control mechanisms
- Player safety controls – legalization enables opportunity for gaming to be an activity which people do occasionally, and which helps them relax or have fun.
In this sense, do you see Continent 8 with great chances and plans to arrive in Brazil in the short term? What could the company bring to the market and / or the government?
Continent 8 works in regulated markets, and Brazil will be a good opportunity for us to expand our global network and services to help both local and international operators to establish their operation in a secure and highly resilient manner. Continent 8 has 20+ years of experience providing connectivity, security, high availability, infrastructure and data center services to the online gaming sector.
How did you consider the system chosen by the City of Buenos Aires for its future online gaming market?
City of Buenos Aires has gained valuable experience from Colombia, Spain and many others. It is an important first step and is a strong model however some articles are very generalist and some articles are very detailed. I understand that operators will have many questions just to comply with the requirements to get the license, and the regulator will publish documents clarifying this.
We live at a stage of varied legislation in Latin America in terms of gambling. How do you see the region in general? Do you consider its growth slow or going at the expected rate?
In my opinion it is going slow, Governments should move faster to develop the regulation as a benefit for them in terms of collection, transparency and security of the activity. People in Latin America gamble, despite if regulated or not, the difference are the benefits mentioned above.
Why are countries in LATAM so advanced and others so backward in online gaming legislation? Which do you see as an example to follow?
As we all know, Colombia is an example to follow, they understood the benefits for all the parties of a regulated market and implemented the law. Argentina is similar, but not fully implemented. In Latin America there are multiple visions, the first thing to understand is that in some countries gambling is forbidden, and others there is a grey market (not strictly regulated) and they feel comfortable with that. Particularly Brazil is moving to a regulated market, but the unregulated activity is very strong and this maybe slows the transformation to regulated.
Regarding technology, security and transparency in gambling, how do you analyze? the Latin American market? Is it somehow late or at some point at the level of Europe?
Regarding technology Latin America has the technology but is not configured to support the activity considering risks of attacks and failures. Business requires high levels of security, replication, strong connectivity and availability as Continent 8 have implemented in 50 other global locations serving the online industry.
What are your short and medium-term objectives within Continent 8 for LATAM? What goals would you like to reach by the end of 2020?
The main objectives are:
- To follow Continent 8 strategy to support new markets and help operators to establish high quality operations in Latin America
- Interact with the regulators supporting best practices that Continent 8 can share as a technology provider with global experience
- Participate in the gaming ecosystem of the region explaining the benefits of Continent 8 as a specialized technology partner and connecting LATAM to the rest of the world to encourage global players to enter LATAM, as well are supporting local providers
- Help customers to certify their technology and collaborate with them providing our knowledge of the region
Source: Games Magazine Brazil