International edition
August 22, 2019

Interview with Digitain CCO Suren Khachatryan

"This is the first year when gamification could really be pressed into compelling service for sports betting"

"A gamified experience, merged with the right segmented customer, can drive players towards desired content at key times like never before," said Digitain CCO Suren Khachatryan.
Peru | 07/16/2019

After his participation at Peru Gaming Show, the executive says a one-size-fits-all product "just can’t link up with modern demands." He believes sports betting regulations in Buenos Aires could bring an ensuing domino effect like PASPA's repeal in the US. Digitain has "numerous crucial deals in the works," with a special focus on international emerging markets in Africa, Asia and LatAm.

C

ould you provide further insight into sportsbook solution and trading tools and other products that you have revealed at Peru Gaming Show (PGS)? 

Digitain’s powerful sportsbook software caters to a burgeoning portfolio of operators across the globe. It provides an intuitive multi-lingual, multi-currency, customizable interface that can be easily integrated, using unique APIs, with new or existing platforms, whether you are an online or land-based operator. It majors in in-play and cashout functionality, bringing a thrilling and dynamic live component to core South American sports such as football and tennis. Ultimately, a flexible, customizable platform has to be the central goal. The main attribute of our platform is that it’s very modular. So, for example, when we’ve gone into LatAm or Africa for that matter (i.e. markets less mature than, say, Europe), many different components are needed (from payment providers to varied website layouts) whereby parts must be swapped out, or switched around. In short, a one-size-fits-all product just can’t link up with modern demands, so we’ve developed our products accordingly.

How do Digitain asses its first time at PGS?

All sectors and channels of gaming were catered for under one roof at PGS’s Jockey Exhibition Center in a conference which caters for the rapidly growing demands of Latin America. To which end, we were able to continue to forge fresh casino alliances, furnishing our platform with progressive products from the best suppliers in the business that speak directly to players in LatAm. We caught up with existing partners, and met new clients with whom we plan to broaden our mutual horizons on this exciting continent. Furthermore, with so many thought leaders and government officials on-site to discuss upcoming regulatory changes in key jurisdictions, it truly established itself as a must-make event.

How did the Peruvian soccer fans react to Roberto Chorri Palacios as Bet4you brand ambassador?

It was great to see Roberto, a local Lima lad, who played most of his midfield career at Sporting Cristal in the neighbouring Rímac District to become a club legend, on site at the Jockey Exhibition Center. As you would expect, he received a warm reception from conference delegates and football fans alike, and he brings a natural synergy between sportsbook and football betting.

What has Bet4you to offer to the players?

Naturally, you’re better off asking them directly! But Peru is, of course, an exciting vibrant market to be cracking, particularly with so much online potential to be tapped from its football-mad players.

Digitain will make its Argentinian trade show debut at SAGSE. What factors make it such a key show for online gambling software developers and operators? 

The fact that Argentina is also opening up, having granted online casino gaming licenses in a couple of regions, is obviously of huge and consequential interest. Buenos Aires City and Buenos Aires Province are clearly two core and focal markets of interest, so it’s important that iGaming software developers, suppliers and operators can meet together to swap strategies and ideas as regulation rolls out. Buenos Aires City and Buenos Aires Province, informed around Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital which also doubles as a financial and cultural trendsetter, should provide perfect testing grounds from which countrywide regulation can be stewarded to neighboring regions.   

What about other Argentinian jurisdictions?

Under Buenos Aires regulations, all providers of online gaming must have their sites individually certified as secure in order to operate in the province. This is obviously a prudent and practical measure, and shows that these things take time, no matter what province. That said, over 20 operators have registered license applications for the provinces’ seven iGaming licenses, featuring the likes of bet365, William Hill, and the Stars Group. They’re not in Argentina for the fresh air and stunning views. Instead, everyone has partnered with local operators (mandatory under Buenos Aires regulations) and have stuck a flag firmly in the Argentinian sands for this newly regulating tide to roll out over other jurisdictions. As we’ve seen in the U.S. after PASPA’s landmark repeal - and granted an initial success story like New Jersey - the ensuing domino effect could be rapid. 

What are you most looking forward to?

SAGSE stands at the intersection for every salient industry channel in LatAm, and represents an ideal environment for tackling the key industry trends across the continent, not to mention how best to accommodate and respond to them. Each year, this summit attracts C-level executives, gaming suppliers and operators from all around the world seeking new business opportunities in Latin America and to network with other industry professionals. SAGSE Buenos Aires works in synergy with a naturally evolving legislative landscape in LatAm, while the operators and state bodies here offer best-in-breed credentials. This three-day event will allow valuable interaction between the industry leaders and experts via technical courses and co-operative meetings. Providing information about the growing trends and shifts in this industry, this event helps delegates to keep abreast with the evolving industry.

Could you mention some industry trends that have an impact on the sport betting industry this year?

Due to the huge and recent gains in artificial intelligence and automation, this is the year when gamification and personalisation could really be pressed into compelling service for the sports betting industry. And for the first time to be honest. When integrated into a segmentation and customer retention strategy, gamification can truly work wonders. A gamified experience - merged with the right segmented customer - can drive players towards desired content at key times like never before. Coupled to bonus rewards, competition against other players and other social elements, and we now have a portfolio of incredibly adaptable and influential tools at our disposal. We’d like to think Digitain is perfectly placed to showcase these technological gains for peerless customer service.

Why Latin America is going to be the next big mobile gambling market?

When online gambling software developers consider the next markets, Latin America is seldom their first choice. That’s no surprise since the top countries by game revenue are China, the U.S., and Japan. The telling reality, though, is that Latin America finished 2018 with 19% growth year-over-year on mobile platforms. And the predictions say that by 2021 there will be over 235 million smartphone users. Latin America is going through a rapid progress and quickly catching up to global market leaders. Ramping smartphone adoption rates and improved user interfaces, coupled to increasing affordability, represent yet more key reasons why this LatAm revolution will be mobile-first.

What deals are next for Digitain?

It’s difficult to be loud and proud in the public sphere in this moment, due to the typical confidentiality of agreements before deals are set in stone and ready for announcement. However, suffice it to say that we have numerous crucial deals in the works, with a special focus on international emerging markets in Africa, Asia and obviously LatAm. Challenge and opportunity are two sides of the same coin in the often fluctuating ecosystem of iGaming. So, at Digitain, we’re particularly excited about how our fully compliant and modular platform can help a raft of new clients move forward with confidence in growth territories.

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