Bustillo Crow (Starich): “We promote innovation, emotion and the best service”

Alvaro Bustillo Crow, founder and CEO, Starich, describes the process that led to the creation of a unique platform for Colombian iGaming. He also analyzes the needs and challenges facing the future of the activity in the region.

Alvaro Bustillo Crow, founder and CEO, Starich.
Alvaro Bustillo Crow, founder and CEO, Starich.

What is Starich, how were you developing this project and what are the benefits and advantages it offers to online gaming operators in Colombia?

Starich was born in April 2017 as a web platform that offers an online raffle service. At the same time, I was following the evolution of the emerging online gaming market in Colombia. In those days, there were still no operators working in the nascent online market. The First Conference on Online Gaming had been made in the country. It was clear that Colombia would be a great reference. From that moment, I contacted the entire sector to explain the concept of Starich. I met with the regulator Coljuegos, with operators, certifiers and different businessmen of the gaming industry. I also attended important gaming shows. There, I highlighted the advantages and benefits of Starlich: we are pioneers. There is no other platform in Latin America that operates on this issue. It is a solution with minimalist design, easy to understand, for a massive audience interested in raffles. Every day, the system produces hundreds of winners. Only 99 users compete for each virtual raffle, without combinations. In a fertile market like Colombia, the product will generate constant income. In addition, it is growing rapidly in word of mouth and has wide possibilities for internationalization.

Two years after Colombia has been a pioneer in the regulation of iGaming in Latin America, what is your balance on the evolution of the market, considering the existing platforms approved by Coljuegos and the participation and interest of local bettors?

The evolution of the iGaming market in Colombia has been quite fruitful. From the first stage, there was a good performance of all involved. This has positioned Colombia as a great example to follow in Latin America and a successful case. Likewise, the Government supports us, providing us with possibilities for expansion and stimulating those we want to operate legally. We know that, daily, Coljuegos combats gaming illegality in the country. The industry creates endless opportunities and, through innovation, Starich offers a platform that allows people to bet and win. Today, there are more than two million active users on online gaming platforms in Colombia. Therefore, I firmly believe that Starich will have a great reception because of the attractive winnings it offers.

Based on your experience and knowledge, what aspects of the gaming sector do you think could be improved in the Colombian market to make it more dynamic and profitable?

A basic aspect, not only for our country but for the sector in general, is innovation in terms of entrepreneurship. We must deepen this issue. Like your new Gaming & Media platform, Starich promotes innovation, emotion and the best service. The industry has to be open to new ideas. We are committed to gaming and players. Another element to continue improving is combat to illegality. Original and profitable proposals such as ours are an incentive to abandon illegality and enjoy a new legal entertainment space. At the same time, working with banks is an alternative that Coljuegos began to use for several months. It is a key that the banking system supports our industry.

How do you analyze the future of online gaming, in view of the progress of modalities such as eSports, Daily Fantasy Sports, sports betting and gaming via mobile devices?

We are at the height of digital media. Within ten years, I visualize new online platforms where the user can propose their own bets. Even in land-based casinos, electronic payment methods will continue, with less cash and more accounts where the money won by the gamblers will be deposited. All slots will accept payment with cards and online credits. In Colombia, games such as Chance and the printed lottery will operate with digital platforms. International trade media of the gaming sector will also evolve, designing social networks exclusive to gaming that will bring together operators and customers from all over the world.

What plans and projections do you have for your business in the medium term?

Our goal is to get a license to legally operate in Colombia with Starich. We are ready to go on the market and provide credibility and trust, attracting as many users as possible. Once we impose our platform in the territory, we will expand throughout Latin America. It is a win-win for users, for us as an operator and for the general Colombian market.