How much did the pandemic affect the company’s business, considering the closure of sports activities for several months? How important is to offer customers alternative content to sports betting, such as online casino, bingo and general bets?
This pandemic undoubtedly affected us all and posed great challenges to us. We even had moments where there was a decrease close to 90% in the number of bets due to the low supply. However, there was a great opportunity to boost our online casino and the bingo verticals through tournaments with attractive prizes and a product that we call ‘Quarantine Bingo.’ In this bingo, we were accumulating prizes of $1 million or more daily during the confinement in Colombia, to distribute approximately $150 million among our users.
In terms of marketing and brand growth, the company has chosen two paths: the affiliate program and sponsorships. In which way they have both worked so far? Will you continue with this sponsorships’ policy?
We have always believed in Colombian sports. Supporting these activities is part of our essence as a company concerned about the future of the country. Hence, every day we collaborate with main Colombian soccer teams in order to help them with investment processes by which we all win. Likewise, it happens with the Colombian Olympic Committee, which is another of our guarantors in the sports life of Colombia.
How many registered users does WPlay have today? What are the characteristics of Colombian gamblers and how does the company educate them and help them to know all the betting options available?
Currently, we have about a million and a half registered users on our platform. As is the case in our country, the vast majority of them move around the offer of sports bets in football. We are interested in providing the best user experience, in a responsible way. For this reason, we have a customer service team in our chat that gives advice to players 24 hours a day, explaining the different betting modalities and options. In addition, through our blog and our networks, explanatory and illustrative publications are made and offered in order to teach and help bettors about responsible gambling.
Could you please describe your responsible gaming and information security policies, taking into account the notable increase in Internet use and gambling on mobile devices during 2020?
We are fully committed to the safety of our users. We believe in trust and we guarantee data protection and security from a rigorous process of analysis and verification at the moment in which people start their registration, because we understand the growth in the use of the Internet. We share Coljuegos’ vision on leading actions for promoting a responsible gambling culture, and we offer our users different possibilities to manage self-care: deposit and bet limits; self-exclusions that allow restricting certain gambling options and for a time that is considered prudent; and cancellation of the account when manifesting some gambling problems.
How to expand the offer of digital payment methods and in what way can Colombians be convinced of the ease, practicality and security in the use of these tools?
The issue of payments and security is something that requires a separate discussion, because the main thing to us is that users have maximum security. Of course, the aim is to avoid identity theft and the participation of minors. Obviously, we are constantly looking for the best online payment methods, which comply with the premise of user security.
In 2019, WPlay closed a deal with iGaming software giant Playtech. After two years, what technological advances could the company experience so far thanks to this agreement and what possibilities are there to continue evolving in the future?
Being part of a company of the magnitude of Playtech, as a world leader in the online market of luck and chance, brings us endless possibilities through technology transfer. Currently, we are offering a new betting platform and its availability in mobile applications under the technological parameters and the advice of Playtech. In the future, the goal is to be able to provide entertainment solutions with the best quality, security and stability for the Colombian market, boosting the sector and contributing to its continuous evolution.
What are your expectations for the rest of 2021? Do you think that the gaming sector will be able to recover to its pre-pandemic income levels and incorporate new verticals, such as the live casino, among others?
We believe that, if 2020 represented a great challenge, this year is providing lots of opportunities. The idea is to continue growing in technology, security and gaming proposals. We have licenses ready to deliver the best Internet poker platform to Colombia. In addition, betting on virtual races will be included and we have in mind to have a live casino to bring bettors an even more real gaming experience.