Betcris’ Business Development Director, Fernando Garita, spoke about the debate on a new regulatory framework for sports betting and online gaming in Peru and stated that, based on experiences in other countries, higher taxes generally contribute to illegal markets’ growth.
In an interview with Yogonet, the executive gave his opinion on the case and said that the ideal scenario would be to achieve a legal framework that gives shape to an “attractive market”, where operators seek formality, and there are benefits both for the companies and the state.
He also pointed out that Betcris has great expectations regarding the upcoming Peru Gaming Show (PGS), which will take place on Wednesday and Thursday at the Jockey Convention Center in Lima.
What are your goals and expectations for this new edition of PGS 2022?
As per usual, PGS is an event that, since its origins, brings together big industry companies, both retail and online. The idea is to share some potential business opportunities with providers, and get updated on the recently proposed legislation bills.
What opportunities does PGS 2022 bring to the table considering the company’s agenda?
At an expo of this kind, you can always find anything from a provider to a potential partner in some market, or alliances between companies where both can boost and maximize their penetration in the regional market. Companies nowadays are and should think about being mixed-use companies, where they integrate different suppliers to improve their offer for the final consumer, and PGS is always a good place to do business and share with industry colleagues.
Will the company present any new products at the event?
Not on this occasion, but we will be participating in the round tables, seeking to provide our expertise, a product of 15 years of activity in the Peruvian market and the region at large.
What do you foresee for the main Latin American markets this year? Are you planning to develop any products for a specific jurisdiction in the short term?
For this period there are definitely many interesting options, such as in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico. We are focused on getting ready for some of these entrances and, if it isn’t in 2022, we’ll be prepared for 2023 to enter those markets with specialized products developed specifically for each region, seeking a better result, tropicalizing both our working teams and our platform.
In terms of product development, I think we are going to try and turn this main product into an element that can be adapted to any market, searching for that integral tool, without leaving out any local aspect.
In March, Betcris celebrated its 22° anniversary. How is the company planning to reflect it at the PGS event?
For years now we have been doing our bit in different areas, advising some operators and with conferences, as well as sharing experiences that can help new operators and companies. Betcris is a company that believes in the industry and its people, that is why we always seek to generate these sorts of interactions, supporting, learning and sharing what time has taught us with other colleagues in the sector, for it to grow more and more every day.
The company has recently launched a channel of educational videos on sports betting. How does the company plan to nurture it based on events such as PGS?
For the time being, for this PGS, we are not doing any collaboration. But in dialogue with Rubén Solórzano –one of the event organizers– the idea is to generate some business wheels in the short term, focused on training on some infrequently addressed topics, such as cybersecurity and personnel training in different betting areas, eSports, commercial casino and others.
In the case of Mexico, and by the initiative of the AIEJA (Association of Permisionaires, Operators and Suppliers of the Entertainment and Gambling Industry), an online commission is in the making, with the purpose of nurturing the industry and forming executives with an online focus and, why not, replicate it in the region for every country’s and every company’s benefit.
Peru is about to pass a bill to regulate online gambling. The project is currently aimed at imposing a 20% tax on online sports betting. What is Betcris’ outlook on this possible new tribute?
When it comes to the new tax, always based on the experience harvested from other markets, a high tax will generally lead to a higher consumption and growth of the illegal market. I believe that we must review very carefully what is best for Peru. There are other more balanced proposals at a tax level that, with some minimal changes, could become an optimal option to be able to operate that balance in which companies look for formality and there is a benefit for both parties, government and companies, with the purpose of having an attractive market to invest in and generate direct and indirect employment.
From the point of view of companies and operators, we are always willing to collaborate and even offer training to the entity that requires so, in order to grasp to the fullest the way the activity works, in which, if there is a high level, the retention is minimal.
Nonetheless, from our company, we will always respect their decisions and we trust legislators will do the right thing for Peru.
What are Betcris’ expectations regarding the online sports betting market in Peru, should this bill get signed into law?
Our expectations are positive, and we are looking forward to taking the operation to the next level, where we already have clear rules for different areas. And a very important thing: we expect the bank opening for the industry at some point. We are a high job-generator and we consume a lot of local talent, and I think that, with clear rules, more and more colleagues in the national and international gambling sector will join.
How do you plan to capitalize on the authorities’ presence such as the Peruvian regulators and other regional gaming associations?
The interaction of regulators and operators in the region has been worked on for several years in different gaming events, so I believe that the path, the content and the disposition are already defined. The cooperation between regulators, associations and operators and suppliers should be able to follow this process, and the regulator to be defined in Peru should simply join and be part of the regulated Latin ecosystem.