Slotegrator: Where is igaming’s ‘open window’ in LatAm?

A new ebook released by Slotegrator has found that Latin America – a region now more commonly home to rapid economic development and regulatory overhaul – presents a whole host of opportunities for those looking to expand their global footprint.

Slotegrator wrote the following account for SBC News about why interest has piqued in many of the region’s emerging markets, where rapid growth of a transitioning economy often promises a high rate of return.

In the world of iGaming, investors and entrepreneurs focus on both economic development and regulatory changes. Increasingly, operators are finding that navigating changing regulations is worth the reward of establishing a brand in a market that’s set for explosive growth.

Online casino and sportsbook software provider Slotegrator has released a new ebook to help investors and entrepreneurs get acquainted with the region, taking the reader on a tour of iGaming markets from Mexico to Argentina. 

Aside from key statistics like GDP, population size and internet penetration, the ebook provides detailed background information on each country’s broader cultural, political and economic climate. Operators can use the guide to both evaluate the different opportunities and begin planning out business and marketing strategies. 

Similarities

Each country in Latin America has a unique story, but there are a few common threads running through all of them. 

Compared to some other regions, Latin American players bet lower amounts at higher frequencies. And there are no surprises when it comes to what they bet on: sports betting is the most popular vertical in virtually every single Latin country, with slots, poker, and bingo also widely played. 

As for how they play, operators and developers should take a mobile-first approach; in many countries, mobile broadband subscriptions are more widespread than fixed connections, meaning that it’s common for people’s only internet access to be their phone.

Mexico’s massive betting market

With the world’s 15th-largest economy by GDP and 10th-largest population, Mexico is a regional powerhouse. 

The population’s spending power, combined with a culture that accepts gambling, makes the country a prime target for iGaming businesses. A law from 1947 gives Mexico one of the oldest gambling regulatory regimes in the region, and regulations passed in 2004, while not explicitly addressing online gambling, are widely viewed to apply to online casinos and sportsbooks. 

Nevertheless, the country still has a sizeable black market in addition to its legal market. Combined, the two are valued at around $2 billion. Upcoming regulations seem poised to bring the entire market into the light.

The Colombian experiment

Increasing stability and prosperity are replacing political turmoil for Colombia’s 50-million strong population.

As the first country to introduce a comprehensive licensing and regulatory system for online gambling in Latin America, Colombia is setting an example for its neighbours, fostering a healthy, well-regulated iGaming industry. The government is already reaping the rewards and reporting increasing numbers of newly registered players. The list of permitted gambling verticals even includes innovative new forms of gambling like live dealer games, virtual sports and esports. 

The Colombian market is not entirely without challenges; players are accustomed to placing bets through an agent — not a smartphone — and payment processing can present some difficulties. Overall, however, Colombia is one of the top destinations for potential operators, and the sector is growing fast; estimates for 2020 put Colombian GGR at $165 million.

An open window in Peru

Plenty of operators skip Peru on their way to Brazil — but they don’t know what they’re missing. While Peru has an established land-based sector, there are no regulations for online gambling. However, under Peruvian law, the lack of regulation does not amount to a prohibition. 

While only an estimated 52% of Peruvians have internet access, with a population of over 32 million, that’s still quite a big pool to draw from. While regulations for online gambling could be on the way, operators are already free to accept Peruvian players.

Prosperity and stability in Chile

Chile is ready to move online. One of the most economically and politically stable countries in Latin America, Chile has a well-established, land-based casino sector — and online gambling regulations could be coming soon, with political parties of all stripes supporting the idea of a healthy, transparent gambling industry. 

Chile’s population of 18.5 million has a large middle class, widespread internet access, and the classic Latin passion for sports, making it very inviting for iGaming investors.

Brazil: The sleeping giant is waking up

The biggest country in Latin America deserves the attention it’s been getting. 

With sports betting recently legalised and a full set of regulations on the horizon, Brazil has a large spot on the iGaming radar. The nation of 200+ million people has a long tradition of churning out world-class football superstars while lodging a record number of FIFA World Cup victories, and the football fever that permeates Brazillian culture brings a love of betting along with it. And in addition to sports betting, casino gaming – both online and off – could be on the horizon, with potential legislation up for debate in the country’s Congress.

Argentina’s regulatory challenges

Argentina looks like a perfect opportunity on the surface, but a deeper dive reveals opening an online casino in the country might not be worth it. 

With nearly 46 million people, one of the highest GDPs in South America, an internet penetration rate of nearly 75%, and a nearly religious zeal for football, Argentina seems like a dream destination for iGaming operators. But there are just as many reasons to steer clear of Buenos Aires. 

An unstable economy and skyrocketing inflation are rendering the Argentine peso less valuable every day, and government attempts to get the economy on track could well make matters worse. And while gambling is regulated in Argentina, the provincial licensing system requires operators to apply for a separate licence for each province where they plan to offer their services. 

Slotegrator’s guide to Latin America

The ebook is perfect for investors, potential operators, businesses interested in entering the iGaming industry, and established brands looking to expand into Latin America. You can download the ebook here

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