Betting In Latin America| 12 August, 2019
No matter where you travel in the world, you will find people who love to wager on a variety of different things. For some, it’s horse racing and sports betting that is the big draw, while others love table games and bingo. The events been wagered on tend to vary by region, but the bigger issue to talk about here is the legality of the wagering going on. In the United Kingdom, you can walk into a betting shop or get online betting offers and place a legal wager in a matter of minutes. In the United States, gambling is still considered taboo, but that tide is slowly turning, with several states legalizing gambling in the past year.
One market that falls somewhere in the middle is Latin America. The rules and regulation there in regards gambling are all over the map, although there is a move in place to create a set of rules that will allow residents to gamble legally and each country within the region to reap those massive financial rewards. Everyone is aware of the money involved, but while some want to embrace the digital form of gambling, others want to stay true to the wagering practices of old. The goal is to find a middle ground that everyone can agree on.
In Mexico, the rules for gambling are pretty lax, but as you move into South America, that is where things start to get a little muddy. If you take the legal betting age as 18, there are about 300 million people eligible to wager if it was legal, which makes that part of Latin America alone a market that has the potential to be absolutely massive if laws are put in place. While some countries there have laws against gambling, they are not exactly strictly enforced. The governments simply don’t issue that many gambling licenses, particularly for online gaming companies.
The tide there is turning, though, thanks in part to the huge bump in tourism that Latin America has been experiencing over the last few years. Colombia recently brought in laws that would open up gambling, while in Argentina, the focus there is on opening bricks and mortar casinos as their tourist trade continues to bloom. In Argentina, gambling is controlled by the 23 individual provinces, with most happy to allow all forms of wagering. The success there makes other countries willing to change to grab a massive piece of the pie.
As mentioned earlier, though, there is still a definite divide on how things should be done, but there is a sense that things are about to change in a big way. It is Brazil who may end up playing the biggest role in changing legislation, as their idea of bringing together the digital age of gambling with the old school way of doing things seems to be viewed by most as a commonsense approach to a sticky subject. Over the next 4 or 5 years, I believe that we are going to see legalized gambling really take off in Latin America.
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