Online gambling in Central and South America

South America has always been an area of interest for online gambling operators and service providers. With some 427 million people living on the continent and 75% of those eligible by law to gamble, this is a huge, mostly untapped market. The problem is that not all countries in South America and Latin America have legislation that supports the establishment of online gambling. While some countries are leaps and bounds ahead, others are still struggling with the concept of legalisation. 

One thing is for sure when it comes to South America and its gambling market, there is a huge amount of potential which is there to be utilised by operators of online casinos.

At the time of writing, the only country in Latin America that has full regulations in favour of online gambling is Columbia. It was, in fact, the first country to fully adopt licensing legislation which was introduced in September 2016. The first license was issued in June 2017  by the Columbian Gaming Authority, Coljuegos. Since then, revenue generated by the fledgeling industry is expected to reach around $8 billion over the first few years.

Columbia is the fastest growing industry at present and it paving the way in terms of trends for the region.

In Brazil, the laws around gambling are much stricter due to the current government but in December 2018, a new law was passed that is creating regulation for retail and online sports betting. This will establish a major new market and operators are literally champing at the bit to get the ball rolling. With a punitive 3% tax on online betting turnover, Brazil is hoping to attract up to 50 major international iGaming operators the country while funnelling gambling money through legitimate sources instead of underground ones.

Slightly north in Central America, Costa Rica has been leading the way for the last 20 years as one of the most popular locations in the world for startups. The low tax rate and other fiscal incentives are also a big draw for operators including big names and smaller startups and entrepreneurial entities.

In Panama, famed for its offshore companies and for being a ‘tax haven’, there is also a small but flourishing iGaming sector. Again, the licensing procedure has minimal governmental interference and local banks are welcoming and supportive to operators. The country passed its Online Gaming Act in 2002 and the first license was issued just one year later.

The Central and South American online gambling market yields huge untapped potential and is there, ready for savvy business owners and startups to enter the scene. If you are considering establishing an online casino, contact Fast Offshore to benefit from our decades of experience in the sector and in the region. From licensing to banking, company formation and fiscal advice- we have got you covered.