Renzo Escalante on iGaming's Growth and Educational Initiatives in Latam

In a candid, exclusive interview, Renzo Escalante, WA.Technology's Latam Regional Marketing Manager and the Marketing Manager at Latam Entertainment, shares insights from his extensive career in the iGaming industry. His dual role has uniquely positioned him to influence and expand WA.Technology across Latin America.

Join Renzo as he discusses his entry and development in the iGaming sector over eighteen years, beginning with a unique cross-over from theatre to marketing. He elaborates on his significant career milestones, including his recent recognition with an Honorary Doctorate for his contributions to the sector. Renzo’s narrative sheds light on how WA.Technology's strategies in iGaming technology are driving the professionalisation and sustainable growth of the gaming industry in Latam.

Welcome, Renzo! Please share your journey into the iGaming industry and what initially attracted you.

Since I was a child, I have always liked to investigate, to know in depth the reason for things, and once achieved, to see how I can improve that reality in the shortest possible time. The adrenaline of discovering and creating is part of my DNA, and it later became my line of work.

Over 18 years ago, I was working in theatre. A company in the gaming industry hired me to train their customer service staff in theatrical techniques to improve contact with their customers. The experience was so positive that they asked me to join as the Marketing and Customer Service Executive to continue this training with all employees, taking my first steps in strategy.

Putting together the first marketing plan was quite challenging, as there was little information on the land-based gambling sector. I took on this challenge with immense motivation, and the results were positive in a very short time. After six months, I was appointed Head of Marketing. I saw the adrenaline from discovering and creating within marketing, so I embraced my gaming industry journey.

You've recently received an Honorary Doctorate for your contributions to the gambling sector. Can you tell us about this and what the recognition means to you personally and professionally?

In February of 2024, Cátedra Unesco, together with the Association of Masters, Doctors and Postdocs of Peru, decided to grant me the distinction of Doctor Honoris Causa. The honour recognised my valuable contributions to economic, educational, and cultural development research, my years of trajectory in the gaming sector, and my motivation to leave precedents through marketing initiatives contributing to responsible and safe gaming. 

The recognition means a great deal because it goes hand in hand with the objectives of the Escuela Clases Play Latinoamérica I founded in 2020, where we teach courses and diplomas for the Gambling & iGaming sector. I consider that the growth of Latin America in gaming issues is immense. Still, it needs to go hand in hand with the industry's professionalisation, and it is precisely there that I focus the experience and knowledge acquired over the years on conducting research, education, and consulting.

Can you talk about a project or initiative at WA.Technology that you're particularly proud of? How did it impact the company and the industry?

An essential field for today's marketing is contact because technology takes us further and further away from physical contact, leading us to make mistakes in communication. Designing close strategies is necessary, and it is precisely what WA.Technology develops so well, which is why, at SiGMA Americas, WA.Technology won the Best Turnkey Solution 2024. Humanising technology in favour of successful commercial purposes is what motivates me and makes me love this industry because we sell technology with a human heart.

Responsible gaming is a crucial aspect of the industry. Can you share how your research has influenced responsible gaming practices at WA.Technology?

To understand how my research influences responsible gambling, we must realise how mental processes occur in players and for this, we will rely on some theories, such as Paul McLean’s (Trione Brain), Eric Berne’s (Transactional analysis and role-playing), Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s (Flow Theory), and the recent model of conscious emotional bonding VEC of Roberto Aguado. In our brain, several neurotransmitters are produced, among them dopamine and adrenaline, present in all gambling activity, that, in excess, generate stress and gambling addiction. So, developing a strategy based strictly on gambling is detrimental to the future of a gambler. I understand that, as in any business, we seek to sell, but the core business is broader than that; I link it more to producing a positive experience that allows us to retain customers over time. 

To produce that positive experience, we need our initiatives to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter synthesised by neurons in the central nervous system. Serotonin’s primary function is to regulate the activity of other neurotransmitters; it controls many different physiological processes, such as anxiety regulation. If we want to achieve responsible gambling, let's start by generating safe gambling. We must understand how clients work internally and take care of them. I prefer a longer LTV (lifetime) customer than a passing customer.

Looking back over your eighteen years in the field, what would you say was the turning point of your career?

The turning point in my career was in 2015 when I laid the foundations of Play Advisors, a market research consultancy firm in Gambling & iGaming. Through Play Advisors, I have deeply understood many markets in Latin America and the local industries, designing robust marketing plans where culture moves the initiatives and is framed in responsible gaming and the generation of experienced marketing.

The iGaming sector is known for its fast-paced and innovative nature. How do you stay ahead of the curve, and what trends do you see shaping the industry's future?

The way I keep myself at the forefront is by reading a lot, training myself constantly, researching, making business plans for the B2C and B2B sector, and generating creative self-spaces where I set myself challenges every week, looking for how to get out of them at a lower cost and with reduced time. To create this scenario, I apply different simulation methodologies. For an athlete, the hours of physical training are important for his performance. In my case, mental training fulfils the same objective. The trends I foresee for the industry are the application of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality because creating a mental representation is the first step to generating positioning. This technology helps us make these scenarios. Another element is the incorporation of gamification in the entire game chain, not just in reward programs, and the high need for personalisation with a cultural approach.

You've been instrumental in debunking myths about the gaming sector. Can you share one myth you find particularly pervasive and the truth behind it?

The biggest myth in our industry is the idea of customer loyalty. To talk about engagement is to talk about loyalty. Loyalty in our industry does not exist because it is motivated by economic interest. So, if loyalty is not possible, what can we do? That is where we will apply the theory of flow, gamification, and positive psychology. The purpose of this is what we do to retain the customer.  If we talk about retention, we are talking about initiatives that cover the lack of affection and contact. These two deficiencies move everyone, so we must retain our customers by generating rewards in line with these deficiencies. Let's remember that a retained customer is a customer who recommends. Therefore, let's not think about ‘loyalty’ because the results will be relative and wear us down. 

What advice would you give someone looking to start a career in iGaming marketing, especially in Latam?

The best advice for starting a career in iGaming is to prepare yourself with outstanding mentors, read a lot about trends, and start analysing the various markets. There is no better training than that based on practice. Also, look at the industry with ethics; an honourable person will always give good results. Training the mind and heart will make them better professionals.

Finally, what’s next for you, Renzo? Are there any upcoming projects or goals you're excited about at WA.Technology?

The next upcoming project is the creation of a specialist-level podcast. I believe that this will also add a lot of value to WA.Technology, which as a specialised company seeks to maintain the professional and technical closeness with its clients, projecting value and experience through the services we offer. Watch this space! 

About WA.Technology

WA.Technology is a B2B iGaming solutions provider offering its state-of-the-art iGaming WA.Platform, a fully scalable and customisable solution with 70+ game providers, 6800+ games, and 80+ payment methods.

WA.Technology creates bespoke turnkey solutions and provides iGaming managed services across its WA.Sports, WA.Casino, WA.Fantasy, WA.Lottery, and WA.Poker verticals. WA.Affiliates is a specialised iGaming affiliate management solution for operators. Learn more at

Sources:  Paul McLean’s Trione Brain, Eric Berne’s Transactional analysis, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s Flow Theory, and Roberto Aguado’s model of conscious emotional bonding VEC.

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