Utilising emerging markets is key for expanding a company’s global presence, with North America presenting an abundance of possible market entries in both the US and Canada.
This region has been at the heart of Paysafe’s year, following a number of deals which have seen the online payments company target Ontario, Arkansas, Kansas and many more jurisdictions across the pond.
In an interview with CasinoBeats, Paysafe’s President of Global Gaming, Zak Cutler, documented the company’s expansion throughout 2022, highlighting key North American entries while predicting which markets are up next in the coming year.
CasinoBeats: 2022 has been a year of many developments, what would you say have been the standouts for Paysafe?
Zak Cutler: We have expanded our North American presence in tandem with the wider regulated market’s growth this year. In the US we are now live with multiple operators in New York, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kansas.
In Canada, the province of Ontario launched an expanded sports-betting market for private operators, and we were processing payments for multiple operators from day-one on April 4, including theScore Bet and PointsBet Canada.
We also launched the first ever affiliate program for a Canadian provincial lottery via OLG.ca’s new affiliate channel, which is powered by our Income Access business unit’s affiliate software and managed by IA affiliate managers.
At a product level, we built on our Q4 2021 Skrill USA wallet upgrade by launching a VIP player programme, which supports some of the highest deposit limits for high-stakes sports bettors in the industry.
More broadly, we are transforming our Skrill wallet into the go-to digital wallet for North American players, including VIPs.
CB: Like so many across the industry, North America, and the US in particular, has formed a key focus for the group. Which new jurisdictions will be targeted next year? And what advantages do you believe they will bring?
ZC: In the US, we expect Ohio, Massachusetts (the home state of DraftKings, a longstanding Paysafe payments partner), and Maine to launch their sports-betting market in early 2023 through mid-year. It’s possible that the incremental progress in these states could lead Texas, and even California, to reconsider their regulatory positions.
Likewise, in Canada, the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia could perhaps consider emulating Ontario and launching their own private igaming markets alongside their respective provincial lotteries.
The Latin America region, whose regulated market was limited to Mexico and Columbia only a few years ago, is now transforming itself into a major market. Peru enacted igaming regulation this year, with Chile and Uruguay also considering legislation, while Brazil’s gambling bill is currently before its Senate. Arguably, 2023 could be a big year for Latin American igaming.
CB: As countries around the world face varying degrees of economic hardship, how much of a challenge, and perhaps fear from a consumer perspective, is a rise in fraud rates? How do you combat such issues?
ZC: Without exploring the correlation between the state of the economy and fraud, it remains an important challenge for the igaming industry – for operators, players and payment service providers. Close collaboration and constant communication between all stakeholders is essential in combating fraud.
At Paysafe, providing safe and secure transactions is one of our top focuses – whether through our unified payment platform or our upgraded Skrill USA digital wallet. Our platform brings the full force of Paysafe’s two decades’ experience in gaming-specific fraud and risk to bear in financially securing igaming brands and protecting their data and their players’ data.
Overall, we’re seeing improvement in players’ confidence in the security of iGaming transactions. Our 2021 research revealed that 65 per cent of US players agreed that making an online deposit was as secure as making an in-person wager, a major improvement from 2018 (just 37 per cent)
CB: What do you believe the major talking points will be during the next 12 months? And what can we expect from Paysafe?
ZC: As mentioned, we expect the global igaming market to continue to expand in 2023, with several key US, Canadian and Latin American markets set to launch, stimulating further regulatory progress.
As the global market expands, Paysafe will be supporting our new and existing partners as they enter new jurisdictions and grow their brands, given payments’ fundamental role in player acquisition and retention.
At a product level, we will continue our transformation of the Skrill wallet into the go-to wallet for not just US igaming but globally, including for brands’ VIP players. Likewise, we will be evolving our unified payments platform, with a strong emphasis on the integration of major third-party alternative payment methods.
Finally, we will continue to upgrade our Income Access business unit’s affiliate software solution to ensure it remains the leading tech for igaming affiliate marketing.