A Local Marketplace

By Gambling Insider
Gambling Insider provides a recap of our recent payments-themed GI Huddle interviews. First up is Nuvei’s Chief Corporate Development Officer, Neil Erlick  

Can you give us an insight into Nuvei’s history and what you do as an organisation?

Nuvei is a large, global payment technology company. We operate in over 200 markets around the world and offer over 455 alternative payment types, and 150 currencies. We recently launched 40 additional crypto currencies. And really our goal is to make the world a local marketplace. We do that by connecting our customers with their customers, allowing them to pay and get paid anywhere they are around the world – in a timely manner and obviously in a very safe environment.


You’ve personally got a wealth of experience in the payments sector. What does your role with Nuvei cover?

I always sound old when I say this but I’ve been in the industry for close to 21 years now. I’ve definitely seen a lot – the evolution of digital payments. My role is I’m the Chief Corporate Development Officer, I oversee all of our strategic partnerships and work very closely on our M&A and strategy. Given my experience in gaming, I set up the infrastructure and the strategy as it relates to our North American initiative.


Looking at payments in gaming specifically, what trends have you witnessed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic?

As a whole, we didn’t see the same blip a lot of companies did with Covid. If you look at the industries we operate in, gaming being one, they always have three main criteria in terms of where we focus. It’s an industry that has inherent growth and tailwinds, it has longevity and it has the propensity to operate globally. So when you look at that, the industries we’ve been in, we started seeing growth before the pandemic. Specifically relating to gaming, the progress has continued. An area we’ve seen an increase in is the cashless aspect in brick-and-mortar.

But really we look at the total addressable market – Covid has expedited the process but we don’t see it coming and going as in other industries. If you look at people now buying their groceries online, some of them will probably go back to the stores once they open up. But if you look at people doing their workouts, are they going to go back to the gym or continue working out digitally? In gaming, specifically in North America you’ve seen an acceleration of states opening as they need those tax dollars. And casinos have had no choice but to move to a cashless option, so we’ve definitely seen an increase.


Do you see this as more of a permanent shift to cashless?

I do. There’s obviously tremendous momentum. If you look around the world, our business is global and it continues to grow globally. I thought it was incredible to hear that gaming revenues in Nevada for March and April were the highest that they’ve been since 2013. I think this is just the beginning; people are hungry for entertainment as it’s been a tough year for millions of people around the world. So this is an acceleration, I don’t think it’s going anywhere; we’re very bullish on the gaming industry. We’ve been working in gaming for close to 15 years and we think it’s only going to continue to grow.


Can you talk us through Nuvei’s M&A strategy?

Our goal is to provide the operator with any way that the consumer wants to pay and get paid. We want to give them that ability, not just in the US but globally. We look at three things when we’re doing M&A: does it help us from a product capability standpoint? Does it help us enter new territories around the world? And is there an opportunity for scale or something that’s transformational? As examples, we’re very, very excited with our recent acquisitions of Simplex and Mazooma.