For many years, the Latin American iGaming industry existed on the peripherals of the larger market, mainly focussed on Europe and Asia. But in recent years, its status has grown as its strategic importance has become more recognised. Home to nearly 700 million people that are simultaneously enjoying higher incomes, more widespread connectivity, and demanding digital entertainment, it is set to become a hotspot for the online gambling sector. For operators searching for opportunities outside their core European or Asian markets, Latin America should not be overlooked.
In 2017, Columbia became the first country to regulate the online gambling sector and it launched its own domestic market in the same year. The national regulator, Coljugegos, which holds a monopoly on gambling activity, has added a number of gambling products including live casinos to its repertoire. This led to the industry bringing in more than $300 million in 2021, almost doubling the 2019 figure. Exact figures for 2022 are not yet confirmed but it is likely to be even higher than 2021, marking steady growth and plenty of opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs.
Brazil and Argentina
Brazil, the regions most populous country moved to follow Colombia’s lead, but since the regulation was created in 2018, things have ground to a halt. After the law creating a framework for licensed online gambling, there was a two year with a two year extension deadline for it being signed into law officially. Former president Jair Bolsanaro allowed it to exceed the deadline, meaning regulators may have to go back to square one. That said, there are many operators offering services to Brazilian clients and the revenue rewards are significant.
In Argentina, all forms of gambling are regulated at a provincial level with Buenos Aires legalisation online gambling at the end of 2019. A number of big names are now operating their platforms in Argentina and revenues continue to grow year by year.
VIXIO GamblingCompliance recently estimated that the value of Latin America’s online gambling sector could surpass $4.6 billion by 2026, but others say the number could be much higher. This estimate is driven by three markets; Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, and does not take into account other countries like Peru, Chile, Argentina and even Puerto Rico.
Proposals on the table
There are currently legislative proposals regarding iGaming on the table in Chile and Peru which would offer further development and much more revenue. All eyes are also on Brazil where additional regulation of the iGaming sector is on the cards which would bring many more players to the burgeoning market. It would also potentially make it easier for operators to set up or offer their services in the country, creating a healthy and competitive environment.
In 2021, Puerto Rico approved licenses for seven online gambling companies leading it to be dubbed the “entry point to the US” for LatAm companies and vice versa. Overall, the sector is underdeveloped and there is much room for potential and new opportunities in the coming years.
In Uruguay, the government have been trying to regulate the sector for a number of years and discussions were restarted again at the end of 2022. Some believe the sector could be worth up to $55 million a year in gaming revenue, but it would have to pass a vote in the Chamber of Deputies which is not yet a given.
Fast Offshore has been working in the online casino sector for over 26 years. Our team is ideally placed to assist you with every step of the process and manage your corporate needs going forward. To speak to a member of our team today, contact us here.