Our interviews continue with the absolute protagonists of the global gaming market. On the occasion, we met Christian Maglia, a personality with great international experience currently working for Magellan Robotech, the B2B company of the Stanleybet group.
Here is our exclusive interview:
IGaming expert – “citizen of the world”, with over 18 years of career, deep knowledge of foreign markets and particular propensity to Latin America, who is Christian Maglia and what is his path to date?
Speaking of the present, I can say that Christian Maglia is the Chief Commercial Officer of Magellan Robotech since June 2019. I am in charge of administering the company from the Liverpool office and I organize all the commercial policies and plans through the markets and fair events in the various continents.
My path really starts from far away, it was the 2000s, when after having obtained a master’s degree in International Business Management, I decided to go abroad. My first call came from England where I started working for a hardware production company, partner of a bookmaker.
Three years later I decided to move to Malta, where I obtained one of the first gaming licenses for the CBM group.
Subsequently, after a brief Swedish experience with the current NetEnt, (a not particularly intense but meaningful and constructive experience that allowed me to get in touch with a group, the Betsson one, truly splendid and stimulating), arrive the adventure with Globet International Betting, that allows me to return to England first and then move to Gibraltar, in the role of head of the group’s casino section.
This experience has represented a “big leap in quality” for my career. Memorable and indescribable, were the successes achieved by Globet in those years, which allowed us to enter by right into the history of iGaming marketing. We were the first betting company to sponsor the shirt – Betis Sevilla – of a La Liga football team. We are talking about a fantastic and unprecedented period, crowned by a fantastic step from the Spanish team from the 12th to 3rd place in the championship and from the historic qualification for the Champions League.
For Globet, another milestone arrives that thanks to the Betis enterprise, leads him to be the first betting sponsor present in the Champions League.
The next step was to bring Globet into the Italian market and obtain the license to operate in the area.
Once this great adventure ended, I started working for groups like Trustly, then Wirex and Portomaso casino, before landing again in Italy with Sportradar, where I had the opportunity to work with the major and most important national bookmakers including Snai, Sisal, Lottomatica , Eurobet, Goldbet and many others.
I owe a lot to this opportunity; it is absolutely to be considered among the most significant and constructive of my career.
Concluded my work for Sportradar, I had a brief spell in Lithuania with Betgames.tv where we signed over 100 contracts in less than a year with the most important operators in the world (from Bwin to Pokerstars, Sportingbet, Snai, Pinnacle, Betway, Tempobet among others).
Then my path crossed those of other friends known over the years, with whom we worked to create a very innovative start-up called WeAreCasino, a fun experience in a close-knit and motivated team, which allowed me to get in touch with territories south of America and get to know a large number of companies and very active customers, particularly in Brazil and Argentina.
My last step, current and full of prospects for the future, comes with the contact of Giovanni Garrisi and the irresistible call of Stanleybet, for a new adventure oriented to the market launch of Magellan Robotech, the Stanley Group B2B brand.
You have worked for the top of the iGaming companies in circulation and collaborated with high-level sports companies like the Betis, also knowing, in your period with Globet, a great champion of football like Diego Armando Maradona. Tell us about this parenthesis, how was it to get in touch with the “God of football”?
The Betis experience, already presented in the previous answer, was fantastic and marked the beginning of my period, the one with Globet, very intense and full of satisfactions.
The idea of Diego Armando Maradona, comes in the positive wake of those years and when with Globet it was decided to focus on the Italian market.
The contact with “God of Football” comes thanks to Bruno Giordano and to the idea of creating an effective TV commercial for the new 90th minute advertisement that in those years went from Rai to Mediaset – Canale5 with the direction of Paolo Bonolis.
Globet was the main betting sponsor of the program, a role it held only for a few episodes, as the television network decided, following very influential pressures, to withdraw from the contract with us to open up to the idea of promoting an internal betting partner.
After this decision, we directed our promotional campaigns towards the classic tabular advertising with passages in very popular Italian TV shows such as Le Iene and TG5. The spot with Diego was short but very evocative, we shot it in the Bombonera, the magical stadium of Buenos Aires that started his amazing career, making it the champion we all know today.
Very successful, a real “gem” to tell the truth, was our marketing initiative with public transport in the city of Naples, we printed the image of Maradona on the back of the tickets contributing with irony, to improve the number of passengers willing to pay for the trip at that time.
Returning to the spot with Diego, during the various TV shows lasting 7-8 seconds, we had peaks of recording incredible users at every step.
An absolute marketing and acquisition success, made vain however by several technical problems with the brand’s site, not ready to have such massive numbers of recordings. A penalizing condition, due to continuous blocking and falling of the server.
For these reasons and for questions related to the territory and its difficult bureaucracy, Globet decided to close the Italy project. The same year, other world betting giants in the area also decided to exit the market.
A few months ago, you started a new adventure with the Stanleybet Group, an international bookmaker with over 60 years of experience in the gaming industry. What is Magellan Robotech Ltd (www.magellanrobotech.com) and what is its mission?
The Stanleybet Group needs no introduction, just think of its 65 years as a protagonist through the various iGaming markets in the world.
With headquarters in Liverpool and a branch in Malta, operations in Romania, Belgium, Denmark and partnerships with brands and products in Croatia with Novomatic and in Africa with 1960Bet, it is the global company with an incredible “firepower”.
Magellan Robotech was born within this fantastic group, is part of it and represents the B2B business branch of the whole company.
We develop systems, platforms, software, workstations and much more for the global gaming and betting industry.
All systems and technologies currently used by Stanleybet are the result of careful and innovative work that Magellan Robotech performs day after day.
In circulation, there are projects released by us on the market, which are visible to everyone, we are talking about the Retail platform used in all the shops of the Stanleybet group, including Italy, not to mention the virtual games product and our beloved TRIDENT, the 20-team Virtual Football League with recurring bets every 5 minutes. An unprecedented success especially in Italy and Denmark.
Last but not least, the jewel of the Magellan house, is the MBK (Magellan Betting Kiosk) – the automatic betting point we produce in the Split laboratories in Croatia. We are talking about a highly technological product, made with quality components that can be customized in colours and logos. Among its many strengths, we find competitive and aggressive selling prices already in this first launch phase.
Today Magellan Robotech, produces highly demanded products all over the world, pride and reason for which we will be present in all iGaming fairs and events around the world. Our goal is to become the leading provider of gaming systems and platforms for all global providers.
South America and the market regulation proposals. How has the gaming sector changed in those territories in these years and what is expected for the future?
This is really a very interesting question; the market in the South of America has always offered rich opportunities, I remember that already at the time of my parenthesis in Sportradar, colleagues and friends, they aimed at those territories with interesting marketing operations, having to confront however with obstacles caused by the totally absent regulation on the game.
In recent years, however, things have changed and something is beginning to move in terms of laws and regulations. Colombia was the precursor of the whole area, in fact it was the first area to function so that there were regulations (but only for the online market) on games, an operation that generated very positive effects in terms of economy and to fight against the “illegality”.
Today in Colombia the game is completely managed and regulated by the government
From May of this year, Argentina has also started with its first form of organization, it should be remembered that this is one of the largest states in LATAM. In the province of Buenos Aires there has already been a first attempt to grant concessions, an operation that is not very transparent or pretentious in terms of requests, which has effectively blocked this first step. In the future, corrective measures are expected, I assume with unlimited license assignments, which will surely make the Argentine territory a popular destination for many companies.
There is also much waiting for Peru and Brazil, very important territories for demographic presences and types of users present.
In the first state, we at Stanleybet Group, enjoy a privileged position, as the presence in that territory, is already guaranteed and tested by our offices, organized by the many colleagues present among which I remember Antonio Salord Dominguez, absolute professional with great experience in those markets.
In Brazil, the second draft in parliament is already underway to organize the next developments and laws in the sector. The Brazilian market with its over 200 million inhabitants represents a great opportunity considering the population’s passion for football and the openings to the game of most of its inhabitants. On the territory, from years, products such as bingo and various lotteries are present and authorized, generating a thriving and well-organized market for all the leading players.
Finally, a factor that could make the interests of many companies even more inclined towards those territories is the presence of Mexico, in center of America, with Spanish language and with a strong market that has been partially regulated for some years.
There are already physical casinos in many of which, thanks to the various international partnerships already established, it is possible to find multitudes of gaming solutions as in other regulated states and in the future, there is also talk of opening to foreign bookmakers.
How complicated and how is it possible to obtain licenses for international companies determined to orientate their businesses in those areas?
Working in those areas is extremely difficult. I can say with certainty that it is impossible to develop networks without a local partner. It is necessary to know the territory well, the economic and political system, to be in contact with the institutions and to know uses and customs among the population.
The LATAM market offers a slight favourable margin for Spanish and Italian companies, favoured by more similar linguistic discourses used to working with bureaucracies that are largely identical. For Anglo-Saxon and northern European companies the difficulties are greatly amplified.
Beyond the minus points, the data speak of many iGaming companies that have entered and focused on those areas ready to face great challenges and successes in the near future.
In my view, the main problem to be reckoned with are the local currencies, subject to fluctuations in exchange rates that are truly incredible. A considerable problem for the large gaming multinationals with their capital to handle and convert, without considering the presence of some conservative states reluctant to authorize the release of large capitals out from national borders.
The first step will surely be to get organized and find the right modus operandi to work best through those territories. An idea is that of the use of crypto currencies, much will also depend on the growth in reliability of Libra, the new currency “Made in Facebook”.
We met you with great pleasure in Betting on Sports 2019, one of the most anticipated and important iGaming events of the year. In your opinion, what is the secret to the success of SBC products and what suggestions would you propose for the future?
Betting on Sports is an unmissable event. Edition after edition, its evolutions have been amazing and incredible from all points of view. The work done by SBC, the organizing body, is first-rate and I am not referring only to the London event, but to all the Sports Betting Community events such as Betting on Sports America, Betting on Football and all the others.
Making these appointments unique and indispensable are the great networking opportunities expertly assembled by the organizers.
Among the strengths that I personally appreciate, there are the many conferences and the paid participation model, factors that create a natural selection of presences. Having to pay to participate, the result is to welcome only those who are really interested in getting contacts and opportunities.
Beyond the reasons mentioned above, I believe that the main and absolute secret of the success of this event is the great passion of Rasmus and the whole SBC team. An engaging passion that explodes in all the closing parties of each event.
As for the possible suggestions for the future, I advise SBC never to lose this dimension of the event, as I believe that a bigger event could make us lose the attention and aggregative capacities that have made the difference in these years.
My compliments and thanks to SBC with the hope of an increasingly successful future
Greetings to all the friends of The Betting Coach, I hope to meet you soon in the upcoming events … Christian Maglia Magellan – Chief Commercial Officer Robotech – Stanleybet Group