The global iGaming market shows exceptional growth rates during the period of 2019-2021, and the increase is a steady characteristic for every global region, including Latin America (LatAm). In 2021 the Sports Betting market of the region generated a revenue of 43,63 million USD, which is 5,50% of the global annual earnings generated by sportsbook operators. With the predicted compound annual growth rate of 4,57%, it is expected to bring up to 59,65 million USD by 2028. However, it is only the most careful prediction, while it is more than a possibility for the LatAm market to go booming throughout the upcoming decade. Currently, there are quite a lot of indicators that prove that the iGaming operators have reasons to be more optimistic about the regional market perspectives for the nearest future. Therefore, the idea of investing in Latin American markets is becoming more and more appealing.
The Latin American market consists of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories, which are inhabited by more than 652 million people. Around 72% of this population has access to the Internet as of 2021. Some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies like Brazil and Mexico’s GDP generated 1,434.08 and 1,076.16 million USD respectively in 2020. At the same time, the region is rightly considered to be one of the most underregulated and undeveloped in terms of the gambling industry, which easily makes it one of the most lucrative for future investments.
What Do You Need to Know Before Entering the Latin American iGaming Market
As one of the world’s biggest gaming markets that only has to be conquered and still has undeveloped regulation, detailed marketing research is needed before you decide to start operating on it. However, there are some more or less evident clues below about the specifics of the region we can provide to you.
Many of Latin America’s senior generations do not have access to the Internet or do not have enough technical knowledge of mobile gaming to get engaged in gaming activities. At the same time, there is a great share of younger, tech-savvy potential clients who you can engage in iGaming and can be easily reached via popular digital marketing methods.
To win over a fair share of the LatAm market, you need to put major effort into mobile-based gaming. The majority of the local population normally gets access to the world wide web via smartphones and tablets, much fewer people use personal computers and laptops. Your iGaming platform and your marketing means should take into account that the potential audience is likely to be reached via this medium.
The major three languages of communication in Latin America are Spanish, Portuguese, and French. However, there are lots of local linguistic peculiarities that you need to take into account if you want to establish a stable relationship with a local audience. In order to operate in the region, you will need your brand to be translated into the following languages:
Mexican Spanish (Mexico)
Rioplantese Spanish (Argentina, Uruguay)
Brazilian Portuguese (Brazil)
Colombian Spanish (Colombia)
The difference between the traditional Spanish and Portuguese languages and the local dialects can be pretty dramatic, so localization is a must once you are about to enter one of the LatAm markets.
Digital Wallets and Cryptocurrencies
It is vital to offer a wide choice of payment options in any jurisdiction you are about to operate. However, taking the regional specifics into consideration, you need to make an emphasis on such payment options as digital wallets, and accordingly on products such as crypto betting platforms. Also, it will be a plus to add some instant payment card brands that are widespread in the region you are about to operate in. Such methods as credit and debit cards are less popular in Latin America.
Sportsbook and eSports
Traditionally, sports are very popular in Latin America. If you intend to win over the big share of the local market, you will need to offer a sportsbook with a wide range of betting options and all the sports that are favored in the region. Also, eSports like CS: Go, and Dota 2 should be featured on your platform.
Licensing for Casinos and Sportsbook in Latin America
As it was briefly mentioned before, the LatAm region is considered to be a relatively young market for iGaming business, and many countries have not yet adopted well-developed legislation for regulating online gaming. In most cases, an operator doesn’t need one of the top licenses to enter the market since the investments are still considered more-or-less risky while the fees and requirements of such licensing authorities as the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority are pretty high.
The most widespread licenses used by local operators are:
Curacao Gaming License - a popular international license that is credited by an authority located on the Caribbean island of Curacao. It is widely considered to be one of the most practical licenses for operation.
Panama Gaming License - the other license that is relatively simple to acquire, and the fee is not too high. You need to have a representation in Panama in order to get one.
Costa Rica Gaming License - considered to be one of the “weakest” licenses you can get for the operation in the region. The benefit of the Costa Rica Gaming License is that it is cheap and easy to acquire.
Belize Gaming License - this license is a relatively young one, but it is getting more and more popular as time goes by. If you get one, note that you are still prohibited from operating in Belize itself.
Argentina Gaming License - Argentina is one of the most developed countries of Latin America, and currently, they are adopting an iGaming legislation little by little. However, there is still not too much information available about this license.
At the end of the day, Curacao Gaming License is the most recommended one since it is the oldest on the list, it is very popular worldwide, and the rules that operators are obliged to follow are clear. However, you need to know that on the territories with mixed regulation you can not offer the services to the local population directly because it can be considered a violation of the local legislation. Still, if the players create accounts on your website at your own discretion, it won’t be a violation of law either.
Legal Status of iGaming in Latin American Countries
If you are going to operate in the LatAm region, you would probably prefer to look for players in the biggest markets. So let’s look at some countries of the region where you can find large, yet-vacant target audiences.
In Mexico, sportsbetting and online betting are in high demand. One of the major reasons is that sports and especially football are very popular in the country among bettors of all ages. At the same time, eSports are extremely popular among the younger generation of bettors as well.
Online sportsbetting and iGaming are not clearly specified by law in Mexico. However, in most cases, you need to obtain a license from SEGOB, which is a name for the General Bureau of Casinos and Lottery of Mexico. Some further research will be needed if you decide to start operating there. Currently, Mexico is considered to be a market with questionable regulation for operators.
Brazil is probably the biggest and the most promising market in the LatAm region. The size of the country, a population of 210 million people, and rapid economic growth are all favorable indicators for entering the market.
Currently, online gaming is unregulated in Brazil, so it is also considered to be a country with questionable regulation for operators. However, the legislation is already proposed, and it is expected that in the nearest future, the Brazilian market will be opened to new opportunities and new operators.
Argentina is also one of the most rapidly developing countries in the region. As you already know, in Argentina, you can even obtain a license for operation. Even though it is quite new and still has less value compared to other, more mature licenses, it is relatively easy to get and the regular fee is not too high.
Online gaming and sportsbetting are regulated only in some provinces of Argentina. The rest of the provinces still have no definite legislation that defines the status and procedures for online operators. However, we can expect that the appropriate legislation will be adopted pretty soon.
One of the most promising markets of the region is Colombia. In this country, you can easily promote all sorts of iGaming services - casino games, lottery, virtual sports, sportsbetting, and eGames.
The iGaming in Columbia is considered to be mixed regulated. There is no official demand to acquire the license to start operating in the state. However, the Contract, which is actually the form of the license, should be obtained.
The casino and sportsbetting business in Latin America has been on the rise lately. In other words - it is high time to enter local markets before the competition gets too tight, which is the most accurate prediction for the upcoming decade. The expected industry growth of 4,57% by 2028 will increase steadily as the proposed iGaming legislation comes into power, which will definitely happen in LatAm countries in the next several years.
The other beneficial factor that makes investors consider this market is the low licensing prices and a big, mostly vacant audience. Apart from it, you don’t necessarily have to look at the biggest Latin American markets like Brazil, Mexico, or Argentina. Instead, you can always consider markets with less competition like Peru, Bolivia, and Dominica. In any case, currently, the LatAm region offers many opportunities for business, and it is the best time for investing in a local iGaming project.