Ahead of his seat on the dedicated Colombian panel at this year’s Juegos Miami (May 30 – June 1, Biltmore Hotel, Miami), Julio Tamayo, Managing Director at WPlay.co, explores the myths surrounding gaming in the region, how the company has transformed the local economy, and why players are a priority for the online market.
As the first operator to acquire an online licence in Colombia, WPlay holds a unique position in the country and across the Latin American region. Ahead of his seat on the dedicated Colombian panel at this year’s Juegos Miami (May 30 – June 1, Biltmore Hotel, Miami), Julio Tamayo, Managing Director at WPlay.co, explores the myths surrounding gaming in the region, how the company has transformed the local economy, and why players are a priority for the online market.
What are your prospects and, in your opinion, what are the main challenges and opportunities for online operators in Colombia?
Wplay.co has been warmly welcomed amongst the Colombian public and an important reason for this success is that our platform is 100% responsive to the needs of the Colombian market and allows the players to enjoy a different experience, easy and accessible with a vast product portfolio and a wide network to acquire credits and take part. We believe one of our biggest opportunities is based on the fact that, having been the first licensees, we have the trust of the users, the Colombian institutions, the government and the banking and sports bodies. We also keep growing exponentially and our main challenge is to remain leaders in this market. Thus, players are the priority for Wplay.co and we keep them interested in the platform by developing innovative promotional games which in turn allows them to expand their winning experiences.
What does WPlay’s POS offer to online sport bets in Colombia?
Wplay.co Centres of Experience allow the players to enjoy all the facilities of the platform, but in a more personal way. We know that we live in the virtual era, where people want to operate from their mobile units. However, there is a percentage of the population still seeking for a more personalised interaction -thus WPlay.co developed a network of POS where users can register, top up, play and get their statistics. On top of that, they can find staff ready to clarify any issues they may have. Right now, we are consolidating networks with 40,000 top-up and on-site gaming points, with a projection of 4,000 in the second year of operation.
What effect have you seen on country’s economy and what can the industry do to fight the negative view of gaming in other countries?
There are lots of myths regarding gaming, but the fact is that human beings are playful rather than compulsive gamblers. Human beings want happiness, whether it is conquered, bought or betted. As an estimate, 60% of the population in Colombia use gaming products and that speaks volumes of this sector’s importance. In its first six operative months, WPlay.co already created more than 3,000 direct or indirect jobs. This, together with a significant contribution to the health services, investments in publicity and sponsorship of a significant number of football clubs and grass-root sports, such as our company’s sponsorship of the Colombian Olympic Committee, can be described as a significant contribution to the country’s financial development from the newly born online gaming industry, which is responsible, safe and transparent. The fact that in Colombia a player needs to be a national and can only use his or her user account to play, demystifies the money laundering issue. In addition, sport bets have been embraced by sport fans, who now have better chances of winning, comparing to those offered by traditional games, and can enhance the thrills of their favourite sports.
The extensive Juegos Miami 2018 program, which will take place across three days at The Biltmore in Miami, will enable operators, regulators and governments to rise to the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. To download the agenda, visit: https://www.juegosmiami.com/learning-program.
To apply for a place at Juegos Miami, which last year attracted exhibitors and representatives from a total of 44 countries, register at www.juegosmiami.com