The Most Important Events in the History of Gambling in Latin America

By 26 September, 2022

In 2021, the number of online casino visitors from Latin America increased. This trend continues in 2022. Professionals choose casino online roulette real money taking advantage of the experts’ opinion. They pick websites of reliable and verified gambling establishments, which operate on the basis of a license. Winnings are withdrawn within the term specified in the user agreement. 

Roulette is considered a classic game, which is popular along with slots, blackjack, and baccarat. The rules are described at The results of spinning the roulette wheel depend largely on luck. However, there are techniques that can be used to increase a player’s chances of success. Such techniques include financial strategies and expert advice. 

Popularity of Gambling in Argentina and Brazil 

Argentina is Latin America’s second-largest economy. About 45 million people live in this country. The IPlyC is Argentina’s regulatory body. It specializes in issuing licenses. Other important information is shown in the table below. 

Regulation of gamblingBy province (operators are not allowed to provide services to residents of other regions)
Annual income2.4 bln. dollars
Federal tax5% (from 2020)
AdvertisingIt should not target minors

Brazil is one of the most densely populated countries in the region. It had a ban on gambling for many years. It is only since 2016 that the possibility of allowing sports betting has been discussed. The process began with public consultations. About 600 gambling establishments participated in it. The following decisions were made:

  1. Sports betting would be allowed to be accepted by private companies.
  2. State governments would be able to conduct lotteries.
  3. Betting on horse races will be allowed in jockey clubs.

It was planned to use these improvements by the middle of 2021. So far the implementation of the program has been postponed. As soon as the new rules are introduced, the situation will change dramatically. In the first five years, the industry will develop at a rapid pace. The sports betting market will be worth $1 billion annually. 

The population exceeds 200 million people, and many of them will become gambling enthusiasts. 63% of people have cell phones. The most common are smartphones that can be used to run slots and table games. Soccer has become a national sport, so placing bets on it will be very popular. 

The cost of licenses for bookmaker’s offices has already been set. The figures are given in U.S. dollars for the readers’ convenience. So, obtaining permits will cost 560,000. In addition, there will be a monthly payment applicable in the amount of 3,700 (if there are land-based betting rooms). The issuance of such documents will be the most important event in the history of Brazil.

Gambling in Colombia, Mexico, and Panama

Colombia has a population of over 50 million people, and many of them are passionate soccer fans. Approximately 56% of people use cell phones. This country has become the largest market in Latin America. Gambling has been regulated since 2016. 

Games of chance were legalized back in 2017 (the only exception was horse racing). This fact was a significant event in the history of Brazil. Horse racing is also regulated but the right to accept bets was transferred to Coljuegos. 

The official statistics is impressive. In 2019, the budget was replenished by $19.6 million through deductions. The first place in popularity is taken by betting on sports (including soccer). Residents also choose lotteries and slots. 

Information about video games in the country is reported by major news outlets, for instance, at This is CNN. 

Mexico’s population exceeds 120 million people. Another advantage is the high level of mobile telephony coverage. Thus, 60% of people have phones, including smartphones that can be used to enjoy gambling entertainment. A significant development was the permission to use almost all types of gambling back in 1947. 

The basic provisions are laid out in the Federal Act. Other documents were passed in 2004 following the long debates. There are three points to keep in mind. 

  1. The owners of bookmaker’s offices and gambling websites should conclude a contract with a land-based establishment. 
  2. There is no need to obtain a special license, which wastes time, and money.
  3. The number of online gambling products is constantly increasing. 

Poker is only allowed to be played in land-based casinos. Perhaps, Mexico’s budget loses because there is no such procedure as license issuance. It is possible that in the future website owners will have to obtain licenses. Experts estimate that the country’s budget could increase by $450 million annually. 

Panama is a country with regulations of all types of gambling. The owners of websites that provide services online, must obtain a license. Betting on sporting events, including car racing, is accepted. Bookmakers are not allowed to offer to bet on:

  • elections;
  • horse races;
  • lotteries. 

The cost of the license is about 50 million dollars. Each casino or betting company must have representatives who work in Panama. They must reside in the country legally. The tax on internet games is 10% of the gross income. 

In September 2020, there was an important development in Panama. Operators were allowed to offer their services to citizens of the country (not only tourists and foreigners of other categories). 

Conclusion: The Fate of Gambling in Latin America

Gambling will soon prosper in countries where it is looked upon more liberally, for instance, in Colombia, Mexico, and Panama. In Argentina, the industry is successfully developing. In addition to sports betting, lotteries and slots are popular. The leadership of Brazil is still wary of allowing gambling on the Internet. In this case, the authorities refuse to generate income. In some Latin American countries, gambling is just beginning to gain popularity. Slots with storylines are appearing, which are in demand among the residents of the region. They are devoted to the Mexican holidays, the life of the Aztecs, and the Maya Indians. Most visitors to the betting shops bet on soccer. 

Follow Sounds and Colours: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mixcloud / Soundcloud / Bandcamp

Subscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter for regular updates, news and competitions bringing the best of Latin American culture direct to your Inbox.