Akiva (American iGaming Solutions): “LatAm operators and regulators are embracing the opportunity to gain knowledge”

As part of Clarion Gaming’s Totally Gaming Academy, Itsik Akiva, Online Gaming & Marketing Consultant, American iGaming Solutions, will be giving online gaming masterclasses in Columbia and Uruguay in August.

Itsik Akiva is an iGaming expert with 15 years of experience devising and executing marketing and product strategies for gambling and gaming companies. Itsik Akiva is an iGaming expert with 15 years of experience devising and executing marketing and product strategies for gambling and gaming companies.

Online Gaming Masterclasses in Latin America are already a huge success!

Itsik Akiva and Jason ‘Wolf’ Rosenberg will be giving an overview of how to operate profitably in the competitive market of online gambling and the complex minefield of financial, operational, and legal risks it entails. The August 22nd-23rd 2-day course in Celebra Building (Zonamerica, Montevideo, Uruguay) is already sold out! However, there are still some places, only for Fecoljuegos associates, in the August 20th 1-day course at Gaming Columbia 2019 (Grand Hyatt, Bogota, Columbia). To book a place or have more data, please get in touch with Adam Roebuck at adam.roebuck@clariongaming.com or +34 6 6204 6689.

New Clarion Gaming’s courses will be available soon in Latin America. Interested executives can send email to make sure they receive the info on time!

Why do you think it is important that, in addition to its events in the region, Clarion Gaming expands its activities to Latin America through the Totally Gaming Academy with a key issue such as online gaming?

I believe that knowledge and education, particularly when based on actual hands-on experience, are crucial for operators and regulators in new and emerging markets. This is also the case for Latin American markets, which have a tremendous potential. It is essential that operators in these markets do not work in isolation, but, instead, seek to combine their local knowledge and expertise with experience, insights and best practices from other markets. It is for this reason that I applaud Clarion Gaming’s Totally Gaming Academy efforts to bring such knowledge and expertise to the Latin American markets. Moreover, I congratulate the local operators and regulators in those markets for embracing the opportunity to gain knowledge. As a consultant, gaming operator and trainer, I get to work and interact with many operators from various markets, and I know that those who are open to learn from others put themselves in a stronger position to succeed.

What will the courses you will offer next August in Columbia and Uruguay be about? What do you seek to achieve with these conferences and what tools will you bring to the attending executives?

The courses we bring to Columbia and Uruguay in August will be a condensed and adapted version of the full 3-day Online Gaming Masterclass course. In the full training, we usually cover the fundamentals that a gaming executive should master in order to properly lead and manage their operations, whether as an operator, a regulator, a vendor or a service provider. The topics we consider range from overviews of the gaming ecosystem and how revenue is being generated and calculated, to deep dives into common practices and tools we use every day and have a direct impact on performance and revenues such as bonuses, player retention and engagement, user acquisition, and the technology operators need in order to properly manage and optimize their activity and spend. Some topics also include exercise where attendees get to put that knowledge into practice. Most courses are held in relatively small groups, which allow us to personally interact with the attendees. I look forward to hearing about their specific challenges and address them as part of the training agenda. While we will be there to teach, this will also be a fantastic opportunity for us to learn.

What is your reflective look at the current status of online gambling legalization in the region, following the positive steps taken in Colombia and in prominent territories of Argentina, as well as the increasing debate in Brazil?

I am always encouraged to see jurisdictions where the legalization of online gaming is done following a correct process. When the regulations properly balance between the needs, expectations and requirements of all involved parties, including the operators and the customers, it is usually a recipe for success. Alternatively, in jurisdictions where the regulations impose unrealistic barriers which result in unprofitable and overly complex operations and an overall bad experience for the users, no one gains. In such cases, players often continue to play with companies whose operation is often sub-standard (and sometime predatory), and the governments are unable to collect any tax revenue. Based on my experience, it is critical that new and emerging jurisdictions do not try to ‘reinvent the wheel’, but rather look for existing models which may be relevant for the market, then adjust them for their specific jurisdictions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Based on your global experience of more than 15 years in the industry, what are the main demands and queries from operators to successfully develop businesses into online and social gaming?

While we work across many jurisdictions and cover multiple verticals, throughout the years, we have been able to identify recurring patterns within clients’ inquiries. Particularly for operators who are entering new areas of operation (new verticals, new markets or a new regulatory landscape), we have introduced a six-steps-process which addresses all the critical phases. This starts with education and feasibility studies, continues with platform selection, negotiation and contracting and onboarding, and culminates in launching the new product and gradually settling into an operational routine. We have found that this process works equally well, not only for launching real money and social gaming verticals, but also for integrating and launching other gaming and marketing technologies. As a maturing industry, we now see that technology is often not the primary challenge for operators, but rather picking the solutions that are right for them and then properly managing the change within the organization. By adopting a defined process, we are able to make this transition a lot more manageable and effective.