Play’n GO Finds Winning Formula in Viva Mexico!


Often considered as the benchmark for Latin American iGaming, the Mexican market is a key feature of many gaming company’s LatAm-related growth strategies.

This year alone, for example, the revenue from Mexico is projected to reach US$2.72 billion and is running at an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2029) of 7.47 percent – meaning that the leading Hispano-American nation could potentially meet a market volume of US$3.90 billion by 2029.

In Mexico, there’s clearly no shortage of expansion opportunities. But what does it take to achieve true and sustained success in this one of the world’s fastest-growing markets?

iGF Head of Content Curtis Roach caught up with Michele Stefanelli, Sales Lead Southern Europe & LatAm at Play’n GO to find out his perspective. 

Read on, as Michele reflects on the powerhouse studio’s six-years in Mexico, new opportunities in the country and, crucially, on how to stay ahead of the competition in glorious, booming, Latin America.

One of the key LatAm growth markets is Mexico, offering international operators great expansion opportunities. What role does this jurisdiction play in Play’n Go’s LatAm growth strategy? What do you see as the main drivers going forward? 

“Play’n GO first entered Mexico all the way back in 2018, long before most of the online gaming industry was taking an interest in Latin America. It has remained one of our most important markets in the region ever since, while also providing a gateway into other nearby jurisdictions.

“We are very bullish on its future. Of course, the country is one of Latin America’s strongest economies, with high mobile penetration. The likes of Apple are placing big bets on Mexico–the company has opened numerous development labs there–and that tells us a lot about the appetite and opportunity for genuine innovation.

“The reform of Mexico’s Federal Games and Sweepstakes Law also points towards a bright future for iGaming. We’re working closely with trade association AIEJA with a strong focus on contributing to the growth and sustainable development of the sector, to the benefit of all.

“From our perspective, the priority remains the same: Continue to deliver world-class entertainment, build deep and meaningful relationships with our operator partners, and ensure that online casino fans in Mexico enjoy a great experience, from start to finish, every time they play.”

How have you adapted your content and game mechanics to better engage the LatAm audience, many of whom will still be novices to online gaming? How do they compare to the more mature markets you’ve experienced across Europe? 

“We’re active in more than 25 regulated markets worldwide, so adapting our offering to new audiences has been a central pillar of our success over the years. In terms of Latin America specifically, our first big advantage is that we’ve been on the ground in the region longer than most of the competition, so we’ve gained an in-depth understanding of what players want that we continue to expand and refine.

“In terms of introducing novice players to online slots, one game I’d like to highlight is Gerard’s Gambit, which we released last year. It features a pioneering approach, merging comprehensive gameplay with an educational element that is particularly inviting for those new or unfamiliar with slots, offering an accessible entry point for beginners.

“Another recent title, Garagantoonz, has similarly performed very strongly in markets where the slots sector perhaps isn’t as mature as in much of Europe. The gameplay is intuitive, the theme recognisable and at the end of the day, it is just great fun to play.

“I think it’s important to mention that we’re now seeing some suppliers entering less mature markets and using it as an opportunity to push games and mechanics which we don’t believe are safe (or sustainable).

“Our recent survey in Sweden found that 55 percent of slots players believe Bonus Buys should be banned. As a matter of principle, we don’t include Bonus Buys in our titles. We believe this view is, or eventually will be, mirrored in other markets; including Latin America. The mechanic is predatory, doesn’t deliver a genuinely entertaining experience for the player, and is already banned in several countries, such as the UK and the Netherlands. For us, providing sustainable, entertainment-focused gaming to players–even in emerging markets–is the top priority.”

Last year electronic slot machines were banned across Mexico. What impact do you think this will have on the online slot market going forward? How can the online sector best adapt to leverage these evolving market conditions? 

“It certainly opens a window of opportunity for the iGaming sector; but we absolutely need to approach it the right way. And that means putting sustainability at the heart of our agenda. There are, of course, fundamental differences between land-based and online play, and we’ve been banging the drum for a strong emphasis on Responsible Gaming for many years now.

“We’ve already mentioned Bonus Buy games and making the correct choice.

“But more than that, it’s about ensuring players who log-on to play online slots receive a truly entertaining experience, regardless of whether they win or lose. We need to step-up our game and deliver value to these players so iGaming becomes a part of their monthly entertainment budget, in the same way a Netflix or Xbox Live subscription might be.”

Play’n GO will be attending the Mexican Gaming Show (IAJA) later this year. Why is it so important for the brand to be represented at this and similar shows? What do you hope to gain from attending?

“The Mexican Gaming Show (IAJA) is a very important conference for Play’n GO as it provides an ideal platform not only to showcase what we’ve been working on, but to catch up with partners both old and new.

“Being at IAJA allows us to get up close and personal with an increasingly relevant market and tap into the knowledge of the latest trends and player preferences that can make all the difference. The direct feedback we receive from our operator partners is instrumental in assessing our strategies and rethinking how we approach product development.

“Play’n GO is already a well-known face in Mexico, but this isn’t something we take for granted. We’re really looking forward to attending and demonstrating once again our commitment not just to Mexico, but Latin America as a whole.

“We’re here for the long run!”

 

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