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Insight


BRAZIL Pronet Gaming


Brazil: a wealth of opportunity if the market realises its potential


Alex Leese, CEO, Pronet Gaming


Alex Leese, CEO of Pronet Gaming, is an industry veteran with over 12 years of experience in executive roles within the online gaming sector. He joined Pronet Gaming in Summer 2019 to spearhead the company’s commercial expansion into Africa, Asia and LATAM. Under his leadership, the firm has substantially raised its profile, securing a string of new deals with local top-tier sportsbook and casino operators in those regions and widening its product portfolio to provide a tailored solution to all clients.


Immediately prior to his appointment at Pronet Gaming, Leese ran the international arm of William Hill, leading multiple market entries into newly regulated jurisdictions in LATAM as well as managing their existing portfolio. Before this appointment, Leese was Managing Director of Offside Gaming, which he joined after five years at Sportingbet/ GVC Group plc in various managerial positions across all European markets.


The absence of regulation has not prevented many foreign operators from already engaging in football club sponsorships and television advertising in Brazil. The scale of these football clubs is enormous; Flamengo has 40 million supporters for example, and if these brands can engage that fanbase, then there is a huge opportunity there.


Pronet Gaming CEO, Alex Leese, surveys the scene in Brazil ahead of the much-anticipated regulation of the market.


Te continual rise of Latin America as a global economic powerhouse is predicted to become particularly apparent from the middle of this century.


By 2050, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts that the region will have taken a giant step in becoming a leading player in the global market, with Brazil and Mexico becoming the seventh and eighth largest worldwide economies respectively behind China, the US, India, Japan, Germany and the UK in its review of emerging economies.


Naturally, the combination of significant economic potential and a highly engaged, sports-mad population makes Brazil a particularly attractive proposition for our industry ahead of the anticipated opening-up of its regulated market in 2022.


Te potential is clear, but how can operators gain a foothold in the market ahead of licences being distributed? Te first point to make is that forward planning and successful market entry relies upon the forging of relationships. Latin America does not rely


P82 WIRE / PULSE / INSIGHT / REPORTS


on formal procurement processes per se, but places much more emphasis on personal ties that can be fostered. Tis is why it is crucial to have the right local partner – someone who can open doors at media agencies, football clubs, sports associations and even with local governors. While some tier one operators may be reluctant to give away a percentage of their business to a local partner, it is a vital step on the path to success. Te absence of regulation has not prevented many foreign operators from already engaging in football club sponsorships and television advertising in Brazil. Te scale of these football clubs is enormous; Flamengo has 40 million supporters for example, and if these brands can engage that fanbase, then there is a huge opportunity there.


On the subject of products, I have read a lot of statements that the approach must be ‘tropicalised’ to cater for the tastes of customers in Latin America. I feel that this is a very patronising concept. We cannot forget that a lot of successful brands have been operating in Brazil’s grey market for many years, achieving excellent results through the utilisation of a


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