All eyes on Toronto: Intelitics´ Allan Petrilli on SiGMA Americas
(Toronto).- In this exclusive interview Allan Petrilli VP of Sales and Growth at Intelitics speaks to SiGMA News about the benefits Canada and SiGMA Americas present.
Over the past six months, we have seen some of the biggest iGaming conferences return for the first time since the pandemic. Why do you believe in-person events are so popular?
The iGaming industry is growing at crazy speeds but despite this, it remains a fairly tight-knit community. It is almost impossible to ensure regular communication with people that you do not work with every day. Conferences give us the opportunity to connect and catch up, and also chat with our peers about where the industry is heading, the challenges we face, and the opportunities on the table.
They also allow people to talk on a more personal level and really get to know each other. Most online communication is straight business, but for me, one of the main reasons why I love this industry so much is the personal relationships I have built over the years. When I travel to conferences, I feel like I am connecting with friends and this is something that I have really missed over the past few years.
Is this why Intelitics has supported events such as SiGMA Americas? What value does this provide and how do you monitor/assess the ROI?
SiGMA Americas provides a unique opportunity as it is one of the first shows to be held in the newly regulated Ontario market and this makes it a must-attend for Intelitics. With so many shows on the calendar this year, we have to pick and choose where we exhibit. We felt like this was a big opportunity for us given the recent success we have enjoyed with a number of key partner signings for the Ontario market that we will be announcing soon.
We monitor the success of each show we attend and although it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact ROI given the longevity of the sales process and the value that simply meeting new people brings, we have a very strong understanding of which shows bring tangible value to us.
What are your thoughts on the opening up of Ontario? Does the market offer even greater potential now that it is regulated?
Ontario has the potential to be a massive market and we are very excited to get in early. At this stage, I think it offers a big opportunity for operators getting licenses that are able to market in more legitimate ways and via channels like TV, social media, Google, etc. Like any market, we expect there to be a fairly steep learning curve but as is the case in any province, state or jurisdiction, operators will need to be able to acquire customers for a sensible and sustainable CPA. And that is where our platform really flexes its muscles and delivers the ROI that operators need to succeed.
Should other Canadian provinces look to Ontario as a blueprint for what regulated online gambling can and should look like?
That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? It is too early to say if they should look to Ontario as the benchmark for regulation, but they should 100% be monitoring how the market rolls out and progresses over the coming months. This will help regulators in other provinces determine what is and is not working and then adjust their requirements accordingly. A lot can be learned from Ontario taking a leap of faith and opening up its online gambling market and I expect the next province to follow suit will use any lessons learned to their advantage.
All eyes have been on the US, but how does Canada stack up with other provinces most likely to come online over the coming months and years?
With provincial lotteries controlling regulation and licensing, it is yet to be seen how quickly, at all, other provinces will open up. All eyes will now be on Quebec and British Colombia given their size and importance in the wider Canadian market, even if other markets come on line before them. What they do next will be pivotal to how the online gambling industry progresses but it is worth noting that I do believe this will be a slow process and that for some provinces like Quebec it is a case of if they regulate, not when.
Are there major differences between Canada and the US? And if so, what do operators, suppliers, and affiliates need to consider in this regard?
For me, the major difference is that the grey market in Canada has thrived over the last ten years, and this means that sports betting and playing casino games are considered normal. There is also some brand loyalty, especially towards the bigger operators such as bet365, and some of the target market that operators will be going after could be considered affluent bettors. That being said, there is still plenty of untapped potential to unlock. Another difference is that Ontario has gone live with both sports and casino at the same time, so it will be interesting to see how quickly brands can turn a profit when compared to the US markets where only a handful of states have both iGaming and Sportsbetting, and rarely do they come online in tandem.
A final word for those attending SiGMA Americas?
First off, welcome to Canada! As a Montrealer, I would say that if you can free up some time to visit Montreal as well you will not be disappointed. Secondly, I look forward to seeing you all at the conference.
Join us for SiGMA Americas – Toronto:
Toronto is the perfect hub for SiGMA’s growth in North America, making it a nexus of networking and business development in the region with regards to land-based gaming, eSports, iGaming, sports betting, and more. Playing host to a massive iGaming industry, Toronto will be the home for the SiGMA Group’s initiative to link the industry pioneers of the continent together for 3 days of networking, workshops, and awards.
To learn more about sponsorship and speaking opportunities or to inquire about attending the event, please contact Sophie on firstname.lastname@example.org.