Greentube’s Head of B2B Sales and Key Account Management, Daniel Lechner, elaborates on the company’s renewed push into the regulated Americas.
iGAMING TIMES: Greentube recently announced a renewed push into the Americas, entering into the Colombian market with Wplay. Can you tell us any more about the deal and what you hope to achieve there?
DANIEL LECHNER: The deal came about via an introduction from our parent company Novomatic, which has worked with WPlay on the landbased side in Colombia for some time. Its contacts and existing relationships are proving to be very fruitful for Greentube as we are able to help operators looking to offer their customers a genuine omni-channel experience. Wplay certainly falls into that category as Colombia’s market-leader in the landbased arena who have moved to bolster their content with proven performers in the fledgling online sector. We began discussions at FADJA last year, completed the integration earlier this year, and were quickly up and running. We are very much looking forward to working with them and hope it will be a springboard for us, not only with other operators in Colombia but across Latin America as markets regulate and brands seek to boost their portfolios with high quality content.
iGT: Colombia has set the stage for further regulation in the area. Where in South America do you see the most opportunities?
DL: Colombia has definitely lit the blue touch paper and I’m sure we will have lift off in other jurisdictions in the near future. At Greentube we are currently exploring options in Peru and Argentina where the regulatory processes are most advanced. The region of Buenos Aires has obviously introduced legislation recently and we would expect Peru to follow suit in the next year or so. We are in regular contact with GLI, with whom we partner in Latin America and they, like us, very much have their ear to the ground. In many respects Novomatic have blazed the trail for us in the land-based market. As well as online versions of their classic slots, and a regular pipeline of our own proprietary titles, we have bingo games which we know are popular across the region. I think the combination will set us in good stead in the coming years and we are very excited about the opportunities.
iGT: In what ways does your embedded land-based presence in the region give you an advantage when launching online products?
DL: Clearly the biggest advantage is having a customer base that is already familiar with your product. Players have their game favourites and enjoy the new opportunity to play them on their hand-held and desktop devices when we launch online, as well as discover new content we have developed ourselves. There’s a familiarity for operators too, which brings security and confidence. We also have the luxury of knowing which games really work so that we can properly localise content. There are great advantages to operators who have a supplier which not only has a broad spectrum of products to suit any player type, but one that is familiar with their needs on the ground in that territory.
iGT: What are your hopes for a regulated Brazilian market? And which Greentube verticals would you be most excited about offering there?
DL: Brazil has the potential to be the jewel in the crown in Latin American. Its size and economic position mean it would quickly become the biggest market in the region and we, along with many of our contemporaries in the industry, would be delighted if the path to regulation was a smooth one. It needs to be done right, however, with robust legislation that protects the player and ensures a level playing field for everyone. We are strong advocates of working in well-regulated markets. Given our experience in land-based, online and social, I’m confident we would be in a very strong position to help operators there from day one.
iGT: Can you tell us about your plans for the US – either with Greentube’s online gaming, or sports betting?
DL: The United States is on the radar of the vast majority of suppliers at the moment and Greentube is no exception. It has the potential to be very lucrative. We have concluded partnerships with casinos in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania and are currently preparing our market entry there. That will give us the springboard for partnerships with other operators as and when other states open their doors. We are monitoring that situation closely. In addition, Novomatic is continuously increasing its land-based presence in the Commercial, Tribal and VLT markets across the United States. Bespoke games which were developed by Novomatic’s US, European and Australian game studios are gaining popularity amongst US slot enthusiasts meaning that soon, players will find some of their favourite Novomatic slot titles on casino floors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which by the way are also the two largest online casino markets in the United States. Greentube is very much looking forward to offering its diverse portfolio of popular games to operators in these gaming jurisdictions in the near future.
iGT: As more betting states open a lot of attention seems to be put on converting sports fans and social or fantasy players into real-money sportsbooks. How can your inherently promotional Greentube Pro division be leveraged to these ends?
DL: Having Greentube Pro operating in the US for a few years now should give us a competitive edge when it comes to understanding player profiles and game stats. We have already learned a lot about what players in the US like to play and will therefore try and tailor our cash offering to suit the information we have collected. Obviously, there is still a lot to learn for us in this market, but we believe we are in a very good position to expand.