News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Gambling is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, and the legislation varies significantly from one country to another. In Canada, for example, practically all forms of gambling offline are legal, while the legislation regarding online gambling is more of a grey area.

Latin America is one of the emerging markets for online gambling, but the legality around gambling varies greatly from one country to another.

Daniel Bennett, who is a casino expert with plenty of experience in international gambling, shares some insight into the state of gambling in Latin America.

Gambling in Latin America

The issue is relevant for Canadians who are both eager travelers and avid gamblers, says Bennett. If you enjoy casino games, you might be interested in trying your luck either in a land-based casino or keep gambling online while on holiday, he noted.

If you want to keep gambling while travelling in Latin American destinations, keep reading – you need to be aware of legal issues regarding gambling in different countries. If you do choose to gamble online, remember to always choose a legitimate trustworthy casino by reading online casino reviews from a reliable source before making your choice.


The laws around gambling in South America’s largest country Brazil are outdated, which makes the issue of online gaming complicated. Basically, all the luck-based games are illegal which means that gambling is taking place underground. At the time when the law was put in force, the internet didn’t exist though, so online betting and online casinos are in effect unregulated. The online market is currently thriving with several international betting companies offering their services to Brazilian customers.

There are currently two separate bills looking to legalize gambling in progress, but things move very slowly in Brazil. The difference between the two bills is that one of them would legalize all forms of gambling both online and offline, while the other one would outlaw online gambling and only allow for land-based casinos and sports betting. Which one will eventually become the law? Only time will tell.


Brazil’s neighbor Argentina has a very different approach when it comes to gambling. All types of gambling, including casino games and sports betting, are fully legal, although the industry is regulated by individual states instead of the centralized government. Therefore, the availability of gaming options may differ slightly depending on where you are in the country. In some states, the local operators can also offer online gaming, although sportsbook is usually not offered, and sports bettors tend to go for international betting sites.


Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in Latin America and less of a major travel destination for international visitors. However, casino fans would do well to visit the capital which hosts one of the oldest land-based casinos on the continent: Hotel Sofitel Montevideo Casino. Each individual province in Uruguay can regulate gambling individually, and a lot of the casino and sportsbook market is privatized. All in all, the country is very friendly towards gambling, and the industry is worth well over 100 million USD per year.


Mexico has been a favorite travel destination for Canadians for a long time. Mexico has a long tradition when it comes to gambling. Much of the country’s casino market is actually aimed at the tourist market, with most of the 300 land-based casinos located in tourist resorts. Legislation around gambling is somewhat murky though, and the online gaming industry remains largely unregulated.


Offline gambling including lottery, casino games, and sportsbook is legal in Colombia, where the gambling sector is controlled by the government. All online gambling is illegal though, and international operators who attempt to offer services to Colombian punters risk being banned for five years. This risk is usually ignored, and there are plenty of Colombian bettors gaming online.

Several destinations in Latin America are popular choices for Canadian travelers due to the sunny climate as well as relatively affordable prices. In some destinations, either land-based or online gambling options will also be available for those who wish to enjoy casino games while abroad. Always heed travel advice from the government and stay safe while travelling.

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