It seems the “die has been cast” when it comes to the growth of online casinos across Latin America. While games of chance have seen promising growth recently, the online gambling scene really took off following the coronavirus pandemic. Third-party sportsbooks and casino operators seem interested in establishing a multi-billion-dollar industry in Latin America, and its 33 representative countries are all for it!
Moreover, Latin America’s countries had a significant role in promoting the online gambling scene. Antigua and Barbuda’s Free Trade and Prosecution Act of ’94 paved the way for betting and casino site operators to expand their services across the region.
Other countries soon pitched in by forming regulatory bodies that would issue gaming permits and licenses to the plethora of operators interested in providing services. The move to create regulatory entities was to keep a tight grip on gambling activities to curb them from promoting or facilitating illicit activities, such as money laundering.
Some of the first regulatory entities that were established to verify and approve legitimate gambling operators were:
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- Financial Services and Gaming, Gibraltar
- Isle of Man
- Curacao Internet Gambling Association
- The Gambling Commission
- Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ)
However, that does not mean the online casino scene was established without roadblocks. Many countries were not comfortable opening their doors to websites and sanctioned them in an effort to manage illegal activities.
However, the tables were soon flipped as countries gradually realized that legalizing gambling activities, particularly online ones, would mean more revenue for the governments. Notable countries that were the frontrunners of this revolution to regulate online casinos in the LatAm market, included Panama, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico.
Growth of Online Gambling
The popularity of online gambling among the Latin American people is one of the prime reasons for the growth of the industry. Gambling operators would never have been able to reap the benefits of integrating into the LatAm market without help from its people.
Consequently, many countries have formed the bedrock of the gambling industry’s success in Latin America. Panama is regarded as one of the most important nations in terms of growth. In fact, it has shown a 145% increase in growth and development stats for 2021.
Growth in Colombia
Colombia has shown remarkable potential for expansion of the online casino industry. Right after the regulatory body Coljuegos was formed, competitors in the Colombian market showed a 100% increase in growth compared to the previous year.
Additionally, the establishment of new gambling rules also helped generate data to establish turnover rates, a feat that was impossible in the past. This data was used to calculate the staggering 2908% increase in growth of the Colombian market in just three years! If you’re interested in numbers, the spike means the market leaped sky-high from a measly $24 million turnover to $798 million!
Popularity in Mexico
The Mexicans are known for their love of tequila, tacos, and good old-fashioned gambling. According to SCHP figures, the online gambling industry exhibited a 50% increase in growth, while all other labor sectors took significant damage because of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the Mexican government makes little attempts to regulate online activities, it also does not prohibit them. This only goes to show the soaring popularity and love of gambling among the Mexican community. Reputable foreign operators can conduct their gaming activities in the country as long as they adhere to MGA’s standards and carry reliable licenses.
The adherence to these rules is a mutually beneficial relationship. While the operators and betting companies can expand their operations to provide people with increasing betting opportunities, the government gets to keep 30% of the revenue generated as well as a 12% share of the profits.
In addition, the government also has a 10% share in all player winnings, so Mexico is managing well without having to do any legal work or establishing regulatory entities.
Other significant gold mines for the gambling market in Latin America include Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru – the second largest in terms of casino demands. While many countries and their respective provinces are still considering what to make of the situation, scores of people regularly access gray markets to avail services of off-shore online operators. It only shows the growing popularity of the online industry that has successfully established itself as a staple in Latina America’s gambling community!