Is Latin America Ready to Fully Embrace Online Gambling?

By 22 October, 2020

The South American gambling market is still in its infant stages, in spite of the sheer popularity of online games among locals. That’s because many countries are yet to properly regulate the industry, which has a deterring effect on prospective investors. They are merely waiting for the opportunity to tap into the tremendous potential of the young and rapidly expanding market. Latin Americans already enjoy sports betting, slots and other online casino games, but there’s plenty of room for further growth.

More than 300 million prospective gamblers

International gambling operators are fully aware of the great potential that a market of more than 300 million people has to offer. This represents nearly 3/4 of the entire population of South America, and it consists of people above 18 years old, who can legally gamble. Speaking of which, the last and most important hurdle for any online casino is the absence of unitary gambling legislation. Many countries have made small steps in the right direction, but they are still only at the beginning of a long and twisted road.

In recent years, Latin America has emerged as one of the most promising online gaming markets, and this trend continues to gain strength every year. All over the continent, adults are enjoying the thrills of slots, regular and live dealer games, as well as other popular genres. The mobile gambling revolution has also reached the shores of South America, where most of the new players try the games on smartphones and tablets. Online casinos are ready to provide them with a secure environment to play on the go.

Colombia leads by example

Colombia is spearheading the legalizing of online gambling in Latin America, as this type of entertainment is legal here since 2016. The authority in charge of overseeing the gambling process goes by the name of Coljuegos. This is the Colombian gaming authority, and since it was established, it has issued several online gaming licenses. The operators who were awarded such a license can legally provide casino games to Colombian players and tourists visiting this country.

The Colombian model could be embraced by other countries in South America because of how successful it is. The Coljuegos has made Internet gaming safer nationwide, by providing locals with a list of places where they can gamble legally. By overseeing the process, the Colombian gaming authority makes sure that licensed casinos are fair and transparent. At the same time, it diligently works to shut down illegal gambling premises by working closely with the federal police.

Argentina and Brazil showed tremendous potential

Colombia is indeed a success story that can serve as a source of inspiration to other Latin American countries. Having said this, the two markets that appeal more to international casinos are the Argentinean and Brazilian gambling market. These are countries with significantly larger populations, which would justify higher investments from gambling operators. In Argentina, gambling isn’t frowned upon, and the general belief is that by legalizing the industry, players will be better protected and served.

Brazil is arguably the most exciting prospective market, mainly because of its vast size and population. The fact that online gambling isn’t yet legal is obviously a problem, but significant progress has been made in recent months. The passing of the sports betting legislation in December 2018 represents a significant milestone and could be the first step towards legalizing the entire online gaming industry.

There is still opposition against gambling, which is associated with some people with illegal or immoral activities, but the perception is slowly changing. The authorities are slowly but surely realizing that change is needed to create the legal framework for online casinos. Ultimately, the primary beneficiaries would be the Brazilian citizens, who will be able to gamble legally at licensed and regulated casinos.

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