Hugo Ugarte, Fraud Manager at NetBet, explains what he learned during his stint in the LatAm iGaming market.
NetBet is one of the most complete gaming groups in the regulated market across Europe. With an extensive range of casino games and online sports betting, their success allowed them to expand worldwide.
Hugo Ugarte, their current Fraud Manager, is also the former Online Operating Security manager of Logrand, and Fraud and Payments Analyst at Rank Group. His experience included overseeing some of their risk management efforts in Mexico, in the heart of the Latin American market.
Here are some of our favourite extracts from the podcast conversation:
Mexican Banks Had Trouble With iGaming
“I think the main issue was the maturity of the market. For instance, when dealing with banks, it’s not the same as in the UK. In certain cases, the banks were reluctant to cooperate with you because they’re not used to it. They didn’t know how to handle it, because they’re more used to handling goods, not services. So I had to stress that there was no physical good, that was the main challenge.”
Finding Team Members With Online Gaming Experience Was a Challenge
“One of the challenges for me was finding someone who ideally had online gaming experience, it was actually quite difficult to find. But we managed to find a team who had online fraud experience, with banks or retailers – and we had to be resourceful and go with someone with a completely different background. But they had the basic knowledge, which is great. In the end, some of the same patterns repeat.“
Mentoring New Team Members Can Be a Big Part of the Job
“When I had to go back to the UK, one of the team members said: I really appreciate how you were my mentor during all this time here, and I learned a lot from you. When you hear that from someone, that you’ve been a mentor for them, that feels good.”
Risk Appetite is Company-Specific
“It’s difficult for any fraud manager to juggle between compliance, fraud prevention and revenue. Three elements and to try to find that balance, and that’s the main challenge for all fraud managers. But it also depends on the risk appetite of the company. So it’s based on the strategies that the company might have. Some of them would rather be riskier than stricter with customers. The main concern, however, is always to be as compliant as possible.”
Compliance is Increasingly Data-Based
This is a general trend in the industry, and it’s fascinating to hear how much data drives NetBet’s compliance strategies.
For instance, at NetBet every compliance decision that we make is data-driven. Data dictates what you should or shouldn’t be doing. At the company, we don’t flick a switch unless it’s been really well-documented. - Hugo Ugarte Click To Tweet
Key Takeaways – Better Tools for iGaming Fraud Prevention
When asked if fraud fighters are the cat or the mouse in the ongoing war with fraudsters, Hugo reckons his opinion would have been different a few years ago.
“But now I think with the technology is allowing us to be more proactive, and there’s a lot of fraud prevention tools that make our life easier. But at the same time that same technology is available to fraudsters, that’s how they get smarter and smarter as the days go by. But it’s easier than it used to be.”
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Jimmy is the CCO of SEON and brings his in-depth experience of fraud-fighting to assist fraud teams everywhere.