The 60 million-plus Hispanic and Latino community in the United States is a woefully underserved one, Fifth Street Gaming CEO Seth Schorr believes. For that reason, FSG has launched its latest endeavor – JefeBet, a first-of-its-kind sports, betting and entertainment company built specifically for that audience.
“We see it as a mainstream audience,” Schorr tells Yogonet in an exclusive interview. “Despite making up such a large portion of the US population, they have not been treated like a mainstream audience, and there really have not been any similar outlets to specifically cater to this demographic.”
Throughout 2022, the company has been taking a series of steps to remediate that scenario, including the launch of a proprietary Loteria game – often referred to as “Mexican bingo” – and the development of soon-to-open rebranded JefeBet Casino in Las Vegas. In conversation with Yogonet, Schorr discusses these landmarks and explains the key features behind JefeBet’s proposition.
What led Fifth Street Gaming to launch the JefeBet brand? With Latino and Hispanic communities in the US accounting for nearly 20% of the population, what opportunities do you see in this segment?
Fifth Street Gaming has been serving the Hispanic and Latino community for over 15 years now. We operate multiple physical land-based casinos in Las Vegas, including two in North Las Vegas specifically catering to the Hispanic and Latino population. Given our extensive experience with this particular audience, we felt there was a great opportunity to leverage our knowledge and create a digital platform that Latinos and Hispanics across the country can utilize. This has been met with strong levels of excitement from our audience, which continues to grow as we expand our offerings and capabilities.
With a population of 64 million, we see the Latino and Hispanic community as a mainstream audience. Despite making up such a large portion of the US population, they have not been treated like a mainstream audience, and there really have not been any similar outlets to specifically cater to this demographic. We feel there is a great opportunity to continue rapidly expanding our base of users and serve as a premier brand for this large, underserved group.
Groundbreaking on Ojos Locos Sports Cantina y Casino JefeBet incorporates into its offerings a content site, an app, and a branded casino to open up in Las Vegas this month, after renovations are completed on the existing Lucky Club. What can you tell us about this future venue in regard to the expanded offerings it will feature?
The opening of the JefeBet Casino in Las Vegas is incredibly exciting for our company. It has been a vision of ours to open a Latino-focused casino in Las Vegas since we acquired this property in 2007. It wasn’t until we partnered with Ojos Locos Sports Cantina that we knew we could create a holistic gambling and entertainment experience that was truly unique and designed explicitly for our Latino customers. In addition to a fully integrated sports bar, sportsbook and restaurant, the property will have a tequila garden and Latino nightclub.
As you mentioned, Fifth Street Gaming already has a history of serving the Hispanic and Latino audience through the operation of its two Las Vegas casinos, which include the aforementioned Lucky Club, and Silver Nugget. In which way have the offerings at these properties accommodated the tastes of these communities throughout their years of activity?
We have made it a priority to authentically cater to our Hispanic and Latino audience in everything we do. For the Lucky Club and Silver Nugget, in particular, we committed long ago to ensure we are providing authentic food, drink, gaming and nightlife options. Where a lot of others in this space may have just offered some simple English-to-Spanish translation, we took our efforts in accommodation to the next level
The Silver Nugget is now home to the JefeBet Event Center. The most popular Latino bands play at the event center including the best Norteno and Banda bands, who come from Mexico just for these live events. The Silver Nugget event staff also produces the most desired Quinceaneras for Latina girls coming of age.
JefeBet’s proprietary website Back in August, JefeBet announced a proprietary, free-to-play Loteria game. What can you tell us about this title, and what role will it play within JefeBet’s plans for the gaming space?
The Silver Nugget and Ojos Locos Sports Cantina y Casino, formerly known as the Lucky Club, are the only two properties in the US to operate Loteria on-site. With the launch of JefeBet, one of our goals was to expand our footprint beyond Las Vegas and provide authentically developed products to Hispanics and Latinos all across the US. Given our knowledge of the game and Loteria’s nearly 150-year history within this community, we felt it made perfect sense to launch a digital, free-to-play Loteria game as JefeBet’s first foray into digital gaming.
You are a pioneer in the esports wagering vertical and currently serve as a member of the Esports Technical Advisory Committee in Nevada. Is this a segment that could see integration in JefeBet’s plans going forward, especially given its increasing importance within the younger Latino and Hispanic community?
From a media perspective, JefeBet has plans to start covering esports leagues and teams in Latin America. From a betting perspective, the Esports Technical Advisory Committee’s new regulations are being reviewed by the Nevada Gaming Control board this month (December 2022) and we believe Nevada’s embracing of esports will help accelerate the adoption of esports betting by sports book operators. We hope by our second year operating an RMG casino and sports book in Latin America we will include esports in our book and potentially other forms of esports and skill-based gaming as a part of our online casino.