As the gambling industry gears up for ICE London, one of its premier global events, Yogonet had the opportunity to speak with Carla Dualib, Regional Business Development Manager in Latin America at SOFTSWISS.
In this interview with Yogonet, Carla sheds light on SOFTSWISS’s focus for ICE London 2024, its strategic acquisition of Turfsport, and the company’s plans for the year ahead.
What main novelties will SOFTSWISS present and focus on at ICE London this year?
This year at ICE London, we will focus on our strategic acquisition of the majority stake in Turfsport, a prominent South African provider of multichannel wagering software for sports, horse racing, and lotto.
We will show how this acquisition strengthened our capabilities and diversified offerings. We are now channeling our efforts towards establishing a stronger presence in the African market, leveraging the synergies created by this acquisition to serve the unique needs of the region better.
What are the company’s key goals for the event, which is one of the major meetings in the gambling industry?
ICE London marks the beginning of the iGaming year, similar to the first match of a season, showcasing the preparation invested by industry players.
Our primary goal at ICE London is to meet and engage with current and potential partners. Networking is key during the event, as it provides a unique opportunity to forge valuable connections, explore potential collaborations, and strengthen existing relationships within the industry.
How would you describe the industry’s and your client’s current demands? And which markets will you target at ICE?
I can name two main factors shaping the current demands within the iGaming industry. Firstly, regulatory considerations remain at the forefront, with a dedicated section at ICE VOX emphasizing the importance of legal matters. The industry is witnessing a clear trend towards evolving legislation, and operators must integrate these changes into their business strategies.
Secondly, responsible gambling has emerged as a substantial challenge, drawing attention from major industry players. While larger companies are actively engaged in addressing this issue, the entire industry needs to contribute. Developing robust, responsible gambling practices and showcasing successful cases are pivotal for individual companies and the industry as a whole.
This effort contributes to shaping a positive public image for iGaming and facilitates a more constructive dialogue, including with regulatory bodies.
Regarding market focus, we prioritize Latin America, particularly Brazil, and Africa, with a specific emphasis on South Africa and Nigeria. These regions present promising growth opportunities, and our strategy is to tap into their potential.
The event comes as we enter a new year for gambling. What is your assessment of how the sector developed in 2023, and what should we expect from it in 2024?
In 2023, the iGaming sector underwent significant developments. These included regulatory shifts, an increased emphasis on responsible gambling, and unforeseen disruptions from cyber threats affecting major brands.
Key events included the introduction of Brazil’s regulatory frameworks for sports betting and online casinos. Curaçao established the Gaming Authority, prioritizing security and transparency. At the same time, the United Arab Emirates defied expectations by introducing the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority, marking a groundbreaking shift towards regulated gaming in the region.
Looking ahead to 2024, SOFTSWISS is gearing up to celebrate its 15th anniversary, which makes the year particularly special. Alongside the festivities, we will be sharing insights gained from our challenging journey. As a prominent player in the industry, we strive to contribute to its growth and evolution by championing responsible practices, adapting to regulatory changes, and leveraging our experience to provide innovative solutions.
What other industry events does the company plan to attend this year?
This year, SOFTSWISS has an extensive lineup of events on the horizon. As usual, we intend to participate in major exhibitions such as iGB L!VE, SBC Summit 2024, iGaming Next Valletta, and SiGMA Europe. With over 30 events on our calendar, we ensure our presence globally at key industry gatherings.
Additionally, we are joining several local events for the first time, like SiGMA Africa. This strategic decision aligns with our broader approach to building global connections while tapping into unique opportunities in regional markets.
Can you talk about SOFTSWISS’ approach to integrating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in its gaming solutions?
SOFTSWISS has been at the forefront of integrating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into its gaming solutions. The journey began in 2013 when we launched the market’s first solution for Bitcoin casinos.
Our Сrypto Solution has evolved to meet the dynamic needs of the crypto landscape. It now supports over a dozen cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Binance Coin, Cardano, TRON, and NEO. And we have the capacity to add more based on demand.
Also, we have introduced specific features for crypto players, like In-Game Currency Conversion on the SOFTSWISS Casino Platform. This crypto-centric feature, launched in spring 2022, unlocks new business opportunities for our clients and provides players greater freedom. With In-Game Currency Conversion, players can wager in games that natively do not support cryptocurrencies.
Simultaneously, operators can expand their offerings by incorporating more games from SOFTSWISS’ portfolio, further enhancing the overall gaming experience for players in the blockchain age.
We strongly believe in the future of crypto gambling. Beyond integrating crypto into our products, we actively share our crypto expertise. In collaboration with Next.io, we are launching the first of four episodes in our joint project – the Next.io Crypto Series, at the end of January. This special series of podcasts will delve into the origins, operational intricacies and prospects of crypto solutions and tools in iGaming.