The Latin American iGaming market continues to soar as new opportunities rise. In the past months, big companies like Bodog have entered the market, and more brands now have their eyes on the region. Just recently, UltraPlay partnered with a local iGaming company, making it debut in Latin America.
This market grows because of the high adaptation rate of technology in the region as well as the youth population. Another reason is the gray market aspect of the online gambling regulations of the region.
Appeal of the Latin American market
One of the reasons why iGaming companies have been ignoring the Latin American market is the economic state of the region. Another reason is the legal nature. Mexico, for example, is very strict with local gambling laws for a long time.
Recently, however, Mexico and other Latin American countries are steadily adopting new technology. There were over 180 million internet subscribers across the South American region in 2009. Each year, the numbers keep growing about 30 percent. There was also 469 million people who own and use smartphones in 2009. The percentage of internet and mobile device users has driven the acceptance of online real-money gambling and Bitcoin casino market in the region.
Latin American players are no stranger to gambling. South American countries have legal gambling activities such as lottery, horse racing, and Jai Alai. Costa Rican residents love their bingo and a large percentage of the country’s population owns a smartphone. This is why the online bingo market is a rising trend in the country.
On another note, countries in the Latin America region are still using old gambling laws. Because of this, most of the region’s law does not cover online gambling. Many iGaming companies were successful in securing a license from the Gambling and Raffles Bureau of the Mexican Ministry of the Interior. Essentially, these companies can legally offer online gambling to locals. The government even allows these companies to advertise its brands to locals as long as there are no minors in its marketing materials.
While Mexico already has a bill that addresses online gambling, countries such as Brazil has yet to lay out its plan to change its gambling regulation laws. This is due to the outdated bureaucratic system of the country that has the lowest record of bills it has passed.
Future of Latin American iGaming industry
The Mexican government said that it is set to change its gambling regulations in order to cover foreign iGaming companies in 2018. However, the government has been mentioning an online gambling law since 2014 and it has yet to come to pass.
Even if online gambling laws were to pass in the future, the likelihood that Mexico or other Latin American countries will totally ban online gambling is low. In fact, some of the countries are welcoming foreign operators due to the potential revenue and job openings the iGaming industry can generate in the region.