Online casino

Latin America in 2022: Opportunities for Online Casino Operators

Slotegrator dives into the details

Latin America is one of the most promising regions to launch a video game business. Slotegrator has been closely monitoring the development of the region for more than 10 years and has noted an increasing number of online casinos and sportsbooks every year. Why is the pace of development so fast and which countries should operators pay special attention to? Slotegrator dives into the details.

Emerging markets in Latin America have great potential. Mobile gaming is particularly popular here – for the majority of local residents, mobile internet is the only access they have. Players from Latin American countries love slots, bingo and poker, and also gladly place bets on sports. But the online gambling policy and, therefore, the income of online casino operators differs from country to country.

The educational portal Slotegrator Academy, where you can find a wealth of useful information on all aspects of the online gambling industry, has published an overview of the igaming market in Latin America. Watch it here, subscribe to the company’s YouTube channel, and stay tuned.

Brazil

Brazil is the largest gambling market in Latin America. Brazilians are renowned for their passion for football, and that passion definitely translates into a love of betting. Another key characteristic of the market is its size; the population is well over 200 million. Moreover, more than half of Brazilians have mobile access.

Under the new regulations, which were approved on May 10, 2022, operators must pay a license fee of $4.4 million. The number of licenses is not limited and the validity period is 5 years. These rules are expected to come into force in August and will apply to new and existing operators.

Betting is the most popular niche here, but Brazilians’ love of betting is not limited to football. Horse racing betting is also prevalent, followed by mixed martial arts and basketball.

There is a slight difficulty with the payment systems, since the law prohibits the use of credit and debit cards for transactions within the gambling industry. Brazilian online casino operators can forget about this problem thanks to Moneygrator, which adds many payment methods to gambling sites with one click, including e-money, vouchers, mobile money, cryptocurrencies, and more.

Mexico

Mexico has the second largest economy in Latin America. The country has a population of 120 million and the gaming market brings in around $300 million in revenue per year.

Many forms of gambling are popular here, especially blackjack and baccarat. But the maximum excitement is caused by sports betting – football obviously being first and foremost in the hearts of many Mexicans.

Mexico has a mix of regulatory status; almost everything is at least de facto regulated, but there are many nuances. For example, poker is only allowed in a land-based casino and fantasy sports are allowed, but there is no specific legislation. Technically, many forms of gambling are prohibited, but various legal interpretations contribute to the development of the gambling industry.

Online casino and sportsbook operators do not need to obtain an additional license; only authorization and partnership with a land-based casino licensee is required.

Argentina

Argentina’s economy is the third largest in the continent and around 50 million people live permanently in the country.

Argentina’s regulatory system is still far from ideal, but the positive trend of market development continues. Regulation here is done at the level of individual provinces – each has the right to make their own decisions regarding casinos and online gambling. Licensed operators can only accept residents of the province in which they have been licensed.

Currently, more than 15 provinces have already legalized online gambling, including the metropolitan province of Buenos Aires, where more than a third of the population lives. In 2021, the regulatory body of this province authorized partnership agreements between local and foreign companies.

Argentinians love to play the lottery. There is National Quiniela, Quiniela Cordoba, Provincial Quiniela, etc. – lotteries vary by province, as they must be licensed by local governments. Additionally, Argentines are passionate about bingo and horse racing, and sports betting is popular for games like soccer, basketball, and tennis.

Colombia

With more than 50 million inhabitants, Colombia is the fourth largest economy and one of the largest gambling markets on the continent. More than half of the country’s residents have access to mobile Internet and about 60% are interested in gambling.

All types of gambling are legal here. Colombia is something of a pioneer in the region; in 2016, the country became the first in Latin America to regulate online gambling. The gaming tax is 15% of the GGR. Operators are also required to pay a flat tax amounting to 811 minimum wages, or about $175,000.

The market is growing rapidly and the gross revenue from the game is increasing every year. As a result, even with a slew of options at their fingertips, Colombian gamers are always on the lookout for something new – the trend of looking for gaming content continues. This forces online casino operators to constantly expand their game selection. Many of them use APIgrator, which allows you to integrate over 7,000 games from over 100 licensed industry developers into an online casino platform with just one click. Among them are slot machines, live dealer games, poker, virtual sports, card games and casual games.

Panama

Unlike other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama has long understood the prospects of legalizing the entertainment industry. The gambling industry was legalized in 1941, after 37 years of prohibition. Six years later, the State Board for Gambling Control was organized, which is part of the Ministry of Finance. It is this body that acts as the national regulator of gambling activities in the country.

The licenses cost $50,000, but the value of the Panama license is ambiguous. At first glance, this may seem interesting: online platforms that only target foreigners are not taxed. However, the lack of oversight from the authorities reflects badly on the license’s reputation.

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican market is a hub for foreign operators. The authorities do not issue licenses and prohibit any transactions within the gambling industry with their citizens. However, foreign companies can offer their services to citizens of other jurisdictions with a “data processing” license. This has helped attract foreign investment and has made Costa Rica home to a large number of offshore casinos.

It is not always easy for a player in Costa Rica to access a land-based casino. Meanwhile, the choice of games at a standard Costa Rican casino may limit players to a few table games and slots. On the other hand, in online casinos, players have hundreds of gaming options: slots, scratch cards, bingo, keno, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, live casino games, etc.

Belize

It is an English-speaking jurisdiction, which makes it a popular destination for American, Canadian and British investors looking to set up a video game company in Belize.

Belize is a popular destination for launching offshore companies. Gambling is regulated by the Gambling Control Commission. Annual license fees are only $10,000 – compared to other international jurisdictions, opening a casino in Belize is much cheaper. However, among other things, the operator needs a deposit of half a million dollars, which the Commission will hold in trust as security against fraud and other breaches. This should be considered at the preliminary business planning stage.

Peru

Peru can be classified as a gray market. Here, online gambling is unregulated, so there is no national authority that controls online casinos. However, all operators are internationally licensed, mainly by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the authorities of Curacao.

Residents of Peru are much more likely to bet on sports than gamble at online casinos. Peru’s Council of Ministers recently approved amendments to a bill to regulate online sports betting. Previously, it was prepared at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. According to experts, these changes will allow tighter control of the industry, which will increase the income of the state budget. Potentially, this amount could reach 160 million PEN (4.3 million dollars).

According to the Slotegrator team of experts, the markets of Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Venezuela are less popular among online casino operators. The Latin American markets, which grow and develop every year, offer video game operators very attractive investment opportunities. However, online gambling policy varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Therefore, before starting a business in this segment, you should study the potentially attractive regions and consult with industry experts.