Alex Leese, recently appointed CEO of Pronet Gaming, talks to CasinoBeats about what attracted him to the business, as well as the opportunities and challenges he sees for the online gambling platform provider moving forward.
CasinoBeats: Can you tell us more about Pronet, its products/services and the markets it works in?
Alex leese: Pronet Gaming is a leading full service B2B platform provider for online gambling operators with its own fully comprehensive sportsbook, a huge array of casino and games content providers plus a white label exchange offering.
I wouldn’t really like to limit ourselves by reeling off specific markets we work in; we’re directed by our clients in that respect and can react quickly to their changing needs if they wish to switch direction or focus on a new market, be it regulated or unregulated.
CB: You were recently appointed CEO of Pronet Gaming – what attracted you to the role?
AL: I was always aware of Pronet Gaming and knew it as one of the more discreet platform providers in the market, which has been hugely successful for them. However, the recent change of majority ownership, a renewed verve to market themselves more openly and finally the move of the commercial HQ to London were all factors that persuaded me to take the role. For a business that is so well established, the potential for growth and expansion is still huge and the team we will build here will be first class.
“Keeping up with the recent wave of regulation … presents a huge challenge”
CB: What challenges does Pronet face and what opportunities do you see for the business?
AL: It’s the same for platform providers and operators alike – keeping up with the recent wave of regulation across the emerging markets which whilst exciting, also presents a huge challenge with regards to IT, compliance and payments integration.
In this respect the opportunity for platform providers like ourselves is to take this pain away by getting certified and compliant in each jurisdiction, and providing a quicker and less painful route to market for operators and other platform providers alike.
Our exchange product is also hugely interesting for us and opens up a range of new emerging markets.
CB: How will you use your past experience to help unlock these opportunities for Pronet Gaming?
AL: Over my 10 years in gaming, I have worked with both regulated and unregulated markets, and of late, I have been working on new regulated market entries hence understanding what it takes from a technical, commercial and legal standpoint. I understand the challenges that operators face from the inside, which will help Pronet to meet the needs of current and new operator partners.
“Without wanting to sound like a broken record, for me the biggest changes will be expanding regulation”
CB: Which new and emerging markets do you think have the most potential and why?
AL: Everyone’s eyes have been on Latin America of late, with Colombia and Buenos Aires already passed, plus Brazil and Peru on their way. The sheer size of the populations, plus the pressure on their respective governments to raise tax revenues, makes them hugely interesting.
Likewise, Mexico’s existing regulatory framework, particularly with some of the more recent proposed tax reforms, presents many opportunities. Further afield Asia has a lot to offer, as does Africa. That said, there are still some huge grey markets out there like Japan which are tempting for operators so long as they are able to balance the risk v reward equation.
CB: How do you see the industry changing over the next six months?
AL: Without wanting to sound like a broken record, for me the biggest changes will be expanding regulation. Specifically, operators are under increased scrutiny on AML and KYC processes particularly with regards to their success in new licence applications.
This is why it is so important for operators to work with established platform providers that have a proven track record when it comes to helping their partners successfully enter regulated market around the world.