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Cigar sponsorship tells a memorable story at Juegos Miami

Online IPS, which provides payment solutions to business owners struggling with the routine merchant services, will be making its presence felt at Juegos Miami in a creative fashion. The company’s Brazilian Co-Founder, Witoldo Hendrich Jr., discusses the central role of Juegos Miami to the development of gaming in the region, the importance of engaging with governmental decision makers and what inspired them to sponsor a cigar event.
How important do you think it is for gaming interests in LatAm to have a professional rally point such as Juegos Miami?
It's critical for gatherings such as Juegos Miami to bring together key industry players. For the industry to develop effectively, leading voices must emerge and consensus must be built, not only to establish and share common values, but also to develop common standards and best practices that will help make the operational relationships between the industry participants more efficient. This will, in turn, lead to a more cost effective and reliable experiences for consumers and increase their own confidence in the market. Our team in Brazil is actively working to demonstrate to Congressmen the best practices that are in operation and Juegos Miami is a fantastic backdrop for this.

Can you summarize what you want to achieve from your participation?
Through our key local partners, this kind of event is an opportunity for us to continue to contribute everything we can to help the market develop and to be viable. We hope to be seen as positive contributors in this process, which will put us in a good position to engage with the market makers as the consumer-facing opportunities emerge. As well as influencing people, Juegos Miami is also an opportunity to learn.
Which nations in LatAm are you active in?
In addition to Brazil, we have established presence in Colombia and are developing solutions in other countries including Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Do you think it’s valuable for politicians and decision makers to be able to engage with the industry in a professional environment and see it for what it is?
There’s no doubt about this! It is absolutely essential for gatherings like these to include industry leaders, market makers as well as policy makers. They represent an highly efficient way for each of these groups to learn the values and goals of the other, and creates opportunities for the development of ideas and plans that support the interests of all sides. Organizations representing industries like this must always work closely with regulators and policy makers to demonstrate the market's ability for serious self-policing and good governance. It’s also about understanding the implications of legislation. For example, a taxation policy which doesn’t allow the industry to be profitable is prohibition through the back door, which will inevitably attract illegal operators.
What are the specific challenges of working in LatAm and how do they differ from those in say Europe or Asia?
Europe is a very developed and mature market and Asia is looking to emulate the best practices and elements of other successful gaming markets such as those in the UK, Malta and Sweden. We have to be candid, LatAm is an emerging market and to that extent it’s still in its infancy. I think we need to see what has worked in different markets and base the regulations accordingly. Our concern is that if we (LatAm) try and reinvent the wheel, it will delay the development of a sustainable gaming economy. All of these reasons underline why Juegos Miami is so important. Get the experts together, debate, agree and legislate in a way that encourages a progressive, responsible and sustainable market.
Your decision to sponsor cigars at Juegos Miami is very creative – where did the idea come from?
It came from Dennis DeLaRosa, Online IPS President, who has attended more trade shows than he probably cares to remember! When we sponsor an event, we try very hard to tell a story and create a unique idea that generates interest -- something that will be collegial, memorable, sociable and culturally interesting. Watching a cigar being rolled, taking it home with you and then sharing the experience with a friend is a great narrative and, hopefully, one to remember us by.
Juegos Miami features a powerful, strategic and hands-on learning programme presented alongside a line-up of inspirational exhibitors and sponsors. Attendance is limited to senior decision makers from operating companies as well as government and regulators from the Latin American and Caribbean region. To apply for a place at the C-Level event, which in 2016 attracted exhibitors and representatives from a total of 42 countries, register at www.juegosmiami.com.