The Language of Truth: Uplatform’s Multi-Dimensional Approach to Localisation

Localisation is crucial when launching gambling products in new jurisdictions, writes Lauren Harrison.

But how many operators do the required work to get it right?

According to the experts at Uplatform: Not many.

Uplatform is a young, rapidly-growing sports betting and iGaming platform and service provider based in Cyprus. The company specialises in over 65 languages and locations; and employs an impressive 1,500 gaming specialists.

As a new, leading-edge service provider, they take a progressive multi-dimensional approach to platform and product localisation.

With their all-encompassing approach to understanding local markets and tastes, Uplatform provides a service beyond translations – and one that resonates with cultural nuances and passes Compliance standards with flying colours.

In this Q&A with Uplatform’s Head of Marketing, Maria Bashkevich, we explored the most critical aspects of successful localisation, the role of pre-launch research, and how to manage often-fragmented gaming tastes in different regions.

We began by asking:

Understanding the local market is key to multijurisdictional success, but what is the true definition of localisation? What are the key pillars?

“Buzz Lightyear’s iconic “To Infinity and beyond” captures the spirit of pushing boundaries. Similarly, at Uplatform, we’ve adopted the motto ‘To the translations and beyond’ to describe our approach to localisation. We don’t just translate text; we understand localisation as adapting a betting platform to resonate with the unique preferences, cultural nuances, and regulatory requirements of specific regions or markets. So, at Uplatform, we perceive localisation as a multi-dimensional process that touches every facet of our platform.

“So, if we are talking about the key pillars, they would be:

  1. The Basics—Language and Translation: Providing content in the users’ native language enhances accessibility and user experience.
  2. Cultural Context: Understanding and incorporating cultural references, holidays, and preferences into the betting experience.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to local laws and regulations related to gambling and betting activities.
  4. Payment Methods: Offering diverse payment options that are popular and widely used in the target market.
  5. Content and Offerings: Tailoring the sportsbook content, betting markets, and promotions to align with the interests and preferences of local players.

“By focusing on these pillars, operators can create a localised betting experience that effectively engages and resonates with users in each specific region.

“We encourage our clients to embrace this approach, steering clear of the one-size-fits-all trap that misses the unique legal, cultural, and iGaming nuances of different regions. This oversight can lead to lower engagement and even compliance headaches. Operators who overlook the need for proper localisation risk alienating their audience, which can dilute the user experience and hurt retention.

“By localising our offering comprehensively at Uplatform, we ensure that each player feels valued and understood, enhancing their overall experience and, in turn, fostering greater loyalty to our client’s brands. This strategy not only boosts their competitiveness in diverse markets but also upholds our commitment to responsible and inclusive iGaming practices.”

Are operators across the industry doing enough research into the new markets they enter? How in-depth should their research be, and what are the potential implications of not being thorough enough?

“Sadly, 80 percent of operators skip the vital step of research, which, from my point of view, costs them time and money in future. You can’t imagine how popular the approach is: ‘I know some guys who can get me the traffic from country N; let’s just jump in.’ Sure, traffic is essential, and those guys might deliver it, but what if your platform isn’t a good fit for that market? This traffic will go to waste as it won’t convert.

“In-depth research before diving into a new market is more than a precaution—it’s a strategy. It minimises risks and maximises success by tailoring your offerings to meet the unique needs and preferences of the market. Without this groundwork, operators risk running into legal headaches, misaligning with consumer interests, or failing to connect with local preferences.

“What we recommend is before entering a new market, operators should research the following:

  • Legal Factors. This is usually the only area thoroughly checked, but it’s broader than one thinks. It includes, but is not limited to, licences and certification, age restrictions, technology requirements and standards, betting limits and game restrictions, payment processing regulations, commercial communication and marketing regulations, et cetera.
  • Competitive Analysis. And here, I mean proper competitor research on UI/UX, popular content and payment methods, marketing strategies, acquiring strategies, retention strategies, et cetera.
  • Target audience. Get to know your potential players personally. What’s their daily life like? When do they typically receive their paychecks? What shows are they watching? This type of info can dramatically boost your marketing and content strategies. For instance, adding bets on popular TV shows like Squid Game helped us engage more users and even attract new ones.

“Understanding these factors is just the baseline for entering a new market; they are essential for making informed, strategic decisions that go beyond just capturing traffic to creating lasting engagement.”

In some emerging markets, cryptocurrency is very popular. How much reliance should operators have on this as a dependable payment solution? Do you expect its popularity to increase in the future?

“I think our Head of Payments, Anastasiia, will soon write a book called CRYPTO IS NOT A MAGIC PILL 🙂 It’s a light-hearted nod to a serious point: the role of cryptocurrency in the iGaming industry is significant, but not all-encompassing.

“While cryptocurrency is making strides as a popular payment method in emerging markets, its adoption isn’t universal. It’s essential for operators to view crypto as just one option among many.

“Relying solely on cryptocurrency as a magic pill can be a risky strategy. Though there are success stories of crypto-only projects, these are exceptions rather than the rule. The landscape of digital payments is diverse, and maintaining a range of options will help operators appeal to different markets and needs.

“Looking ahead, I believe cryptocurrency’s influence will grow, driven by evolving regulatory frameworks and increasing consumer awareness. However, I will repeat myself: operators should maintain a diverse range of payment options to scale the business and cater to varying markets.”

How varied are players’ content preferences from region to region? Have you found any synergies, and what’s the best way to manage these fragmented content markets?

“Oh, I love this question, as it truly opens up a world of discussion! Indeed, while there may be synergies in certain aspects of content preferences, the reality is that player tastes are remarkably diverse across different regions. This diversity is shaped by cultural nuances, historical contexts, betting traditions, and regulatory environments. Preferences can range widely from the sports they follow to the types of slot mechanics they favour, and even to the features they find engaging.

“Every country, even every region in a country, is distinct, and understanding these nuances is key.

“Let’s take LatAm as an example. We all know that there’s a broad passion for sports, particularly football. That is applicable to almost every country in the region. Yet, delving deeper reveals subtleties: in Peru, for instance, they also love Esports (15 percent), while in Argentina, esports is not that popular (two percent). So, entering Peru, it’s essential to have a good esports offering as well.

“The best approach to managing such fragmented content markets involves a robust localisation strategy. This strategy should be comprehensive and cover all aspects of sportsbook adaptation, casino offerings, promotional activities, and more to meet regional preferences. Effective use of data analytics, gathering feedback from players, and drawing on deep market insights are fundamental. “Operators can thus tailor their offerings to provide a personalised and resonant betting experience for each target market.

“Ultimately, the key to success lies in recognising and embracing the uniqueness of each market, a task that often requires extensive research and, ideally, collaboration with a platform that possesses a wealth of experience and is willing to share its insights.”

Editor’s Note:

Any new market presents complex challenges, but the advice, as exemplified by Uplatform, is clear: “The key to success lies in recognising and embracing one’s uniqueness.”

The one-size-fits-all model of multi-jurisdictional iGaming operations is a “trap that misses the unique legal, cultural, and iGaming nuances of different regions” – an oversight sure to lead to failure, cautions Uplatform.

Instead, a focused and comprehensive approach to localisation can be a game-changer, making players feel valued and understood, fostering brand loyalty, and potentially leading to significant success.

However, it’s alarming to note that as many as 80 percent of operators are neglecting the most crucial step, the research, warns Maria; which can lead to serious risks such as legal complications, misalignment with consumer interests, or failure to connect with local preferences.

Ultimately, in Maria’s view, this prevents operators from making informed and strategic decisions that allow them to move beyond capturing traffic towards creating lasting engagement.
As with payment systems, there’s no magic pill.

Player tastes are remarkably diverse across different regions, and the correct strategy to manage this successfully is robust localisation and a matching range of products. Knowing the legal factors, target audience and the competitive landscape is just the baseline.

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