How Popular Is Online Gambling In Latin America?

Close up of roulette wheel at the casino - Focus on foreground
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 25, 2021: Gambling is rapidly growing across the world. In fact, analysts expect gambling to be worth $90 billion by 2023, about $30 billion higher than its 2019 value.

The legal view on gambling varies between countries. There are often different laws that control land casinos and online casinos.

Currently, the US and Canada have some of the more welcoming laws around the world after recent legislation changes. Now, many citizens in these countries can play casino games on mobile, tablets and on computers. 

That being said, their Latin American neighbors have been drawing a lot of attention recently. It is considered one of the key emerging markets. Many experts are confident that it will grow to rival both Canada, the US and Europe. 

The main stumbling block in the region remains the laws around the sport. Many of the countries are just beginning to relax gambling laws. 

Others are still afraid to commit to change, but, as the US and Canada have shown, legislation will benefit players. Additionally, it will help operators and add another source of revenue for the country and government.

Countries like Brazil and Ecuador have completely banned gambling of all forms. Online gambling is also banned and only state lotteries are permitted. 

A few other countries don’t actively prohibit gambling but have not officially regulated it either. In Nicaragua and Bolivia, online gambling is regulated but is included in the overall regulatory framework that governs the entire casino industry. 

Down in Argentina, online casinos are regulated by each individual province.

Chile

The first half of 2021 saw Chile introduce a bill that would regulate online gambling. Currently, casino operators, even land-based casinos, are not allowed to offer online games. 

The new regulations will see that ban lifted on both sports betting and casino gaming. This is a move designed to keep players safe and increase tax revenue.

Brazil

Analysts have long considered Brazil to be one with massive potential. Being Latin America’s biggest country, there is a huge untapped market in Brazil.

Almost all forms of gambling are currently prohibited. However, in 2016, a new committee was set up with the aim of creating regulations for sports betting.

Later in 2018, gambling legislation was passed but it is yet to be implemented.

Argentina  

Argentina has a population of almost 45 million people. It is the second-biggest economy in the region and the fourth largest country. 

Here, gambling is regulated by each province and operators can only serve residents of that particular province. Argentina’s betting and online casino industry are expected to see profits of over $2.4 billion every year. 

Colombia

Colombia seems on the verge of a massive online gaming opportunity. It has a population of 50 million and remains the continent’s fourth largest economy. 

Mobile penetration is well over 50% and the country is completely football crazy. These signs point towards a great opportunity for online gambling, especially with sports like football.

Gambling laws in US and Canada

These laws are still in their infancy but there are strong plans to change that. Countries can look to the US and Canada, both markets where gambling used to be banned or in a grey zone.

Canada had outlawed online gambling until very recently. Now every province is allowed to set its own regulations regarding online gambling.

This shift has allowed the industry to rapidly grow. Players get to enjoy their favorite games while in the comforts of their homes and are protected from shady operators.

The gambling laws in Canada are split in two; the Provincial law and the First Nations Law. 

Online casinos are much more enticing to Canadian players. This is because they offer a lot more variety when compared to land based casinos.

Players can choose from sports betting, lotteries, slots, video poker, blackjack and even live casino games.

Also, Canadians have an appetite for gambling; 25% of the population engage in some form of lottery game every week. 

The US is seeing a similar shift. Online gaming has proven to be very enticing because it allows players to safely and easily play their favorite game, in their homes and on any device.

Online players note that this helps them save money. These include parking, refreshments and other costs that come with playing in a casino hall. It’s also helped by the fact that online casinos are very rewarding and user friendly nowadays. 

The revenue generated and industry growth in the US and Canada is an indication of the benefits of regulating gambling. 

Online casinos are very easy to use and play. That means there is little chance gambling will decline anytime in the future – it will only continue to grow.

Similarly, positive changes in the laws and regulations can help Latin America tap into its true potential. 

While a few countries and regions have allowed it, there is still no organized decision from a federal level. There are no plans on how to regulate, what laws to implement and who can access. Argentina is taking positive steps, but many countries are stagnant and unsure of the direction to take.

However, there are positive steps and it’s only a matter of time before it explodes in popularity.