Rebekah Jackson, Director of Gaming at GBG, talks about the firm’s ambitions to enable access to the exciting LatAm igaming market, while ensuring regulatory compliance, fraud reduction, and the delivery of a secure, seamless, and responsible experience to players.

CasinoBeats: For those among our audience who are less familiar with GBG, tell us more about the brand, what it does and its approach to customer verification.

Rebekah Jackson: Of course! GBG is the leading expert in global digital identity. Our purpose is to build trust in a digital world, where everyone can transact online with confidence. The digital world has no physical borders.

This creates enormous opportunities, but also new threats and challenges. Our Global State of Digital Identity 2023 report revealed more than half of business leaders (55 per cent) have experienced any known or suspected fraud attempts in the past 12 months alone, with half (49per cent) of those saying it has increased compared to last year.

However, digital barriers, like trust, speed, accuracy, and customer experience can all be overcome with the right data and technology. Our powerful technology, global data coverage and network of over 1,250 trusted experts combine to bring consumer and local market insights from around the world. 

We make it easy for businesses everywhere to identify customers and keep everyone safe from fraud, helping businesses comply with global regulations and simplifying the customer onboarding process.

From onboarding to in-life, we build trust at every stage of the customer lifecycle and work with start-ups to many of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing brands with our global platform of digital location, identity, and fraud solutions.

CB: Looking towards the LatAm igaming market, can you talk about GBG’s ambitions for the sector there and offer a progress update?

RJ: Latin America is a big draw for igaming operators making a play for global growth – there are more than 600m people in the region and, with rapidly changing regulation, there are increasing opportunities for igaming. According to our recent report, 70 per cent of operators have plans to expand into the region over the next three years and it’s our ambition to be the partner of choice for igaming firms in Latin America.

Our products have strong coverage of Latin America and we’re ready to help our customers to access this exciting market safely, ensuring regulatory compliance, reducing fraud, and delivering a secure, seamless, and responsible experience to their players.

Currently, we offer an integrated global portfolio of player identity checks and know your customer solutions for igaming operators in Latin America. Our reliable age-verification checks prevent and protect minors from creating accounts and operators can also access trusted KYC data and market-leading match rates in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, through a single integration.

As part of our commitment to supporting operators in Latin America, we are continuing to expand in this region at pace. Our data coverage will soon include Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay.

CB: Your breakdown of the anticipated penetration of igaming companies in LatAm over the next five years offers up some interesting numbers, with Mexico leading the charge with 95 per cent. What’s the science behind those projections and do you think they’re still on course?

RJ: Yes, that’s right. To better understand igaming industry plans and priorities in Latin America, we commissioned a survey of 71 gaming companies considering expansion in the region and the key challenges they face. As part of this, we spoke to respondents from across casinos, lotteries, sports betting, fantasy, and esports businesses to get their views.

With a population of over 120 million people and a mobile penetration rate estimated at around 60 per cent, Mexico is the largest igaming market in Latin America. It’s no surprise then that our report revealed Mexico is at the top of the list of most popular markets for igaming operators, with 95 per cent of the companies we surveyed looking to expand into Mexico over the next five years.

Are they on course? It’s too early to tell at this point. Interestingly, almost all land-based forms of gambling are regulated in Mexico, but currently, online gaming operates in a thriving grey market. For example, online casino and sports betting operators don’t require digital licences but instead operate in partnership with a land-based licence holder.

Online gaming and sports betting annual revenues are estimated to be up to $450m, with only $50m currently coming from authorised operators. What would move the needle significantly for igaming would be if Mexico’s regulatory authority, the Dirección General de Juegos y Sorteos, were to issue igaming licences. This could be a win for all concerned and would likely create additional appetite for responsible igaming operators in this region.

CB: Having surveyed more than 70 global operators about the potential inherent in LatAm, what were identified as the key opportunities and, crucially, the pain points they face?

RJ: The igaming market in Latin America is as diverse as it is dynamic – the region consists of 33 countries and union territories and each country regards and regulates gambling differently with varying degrees of social acceptance.

It’s clear from our research that while operators across the globe have pinpointed this region for its highly attractive expansion opportunities, they also recognise the complex and shifting regulatory environment it presents for player onboarding.

Nearly in nine in 10 (88 per cent) operators highlighted the difficulty of performing onboarding identity checks as a key challenge. Verifying new players safely and effectively requires identity checks and access to local datasets and ID document libraries. However, this can be achieved by partnering with the right suppliers, such as GBG, that can deliver access to these, onboarding genuine new players as well as identifying and stopping underage or fraudulent identities from accessing their services.

As well as this, 86 per cent of our survey respondents highlighted compliance with local regulations as a key challenge. This doesn’t come as a surprise – igaming is a high-growth and high-regulation industry, which comes with significant complexity. 

At GBG, we are committed to supporting operators with the unique needs of the region, and our team, data and solutions are already in place to ensure operators stay ahead of regulation in Latin America. So, while the market is complex there are also rewards for those businesses that can overcome perceived barriers to entry in this market.

CB: Given the breadth and diversity of LatAm, what approach is GBG taking to ensuring it can work most effectively in each separate jurisdiction?

RJ: As I mentioned above, GBG already has strong coverage across the region and offers an integrated global portfolio of player identity checks and know your customer solutions for igaming operators in Latin America.

Our Latin American data suppliers are sourced to meet the highest compliance standards. With more identity data sets to reference, we can deliver market-leading KYC match rates and fast, accurate, and responsible player onboarding decisions. Our best practice player onboarding dynamically adjusts between data and document-centric identity verification routes, to maximise customer conversion while reducing the risk of fraud and protecting vulnerable players. 

A combination of identity data, email intelligence, transaction monitoring and identity document checks offers extended due diligence and the breadth and depth of player insight needed to beat bonus abuse and build a comprehensive anti-money laundering solution.

Together, these approaches to KYC can help operators comply with igaming regulations across Latin America while providing a safe, secure, and smooth experience for players. Want to onboard more Latin American players? View our new interactive identity map to learn GBG’s full coverage in the LatAm region.