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Latin America – Lots of Potential, Problems With Legislation

- August 9, 2017 By Riley Wilson -

Latin America slowly opening towards online gaming.

When it comes to the digital gaming industry, Latin America has a lot of potential, while the biggest market opportunities can be found on mobile.

Mobile technology is present in a wide variety of gambling services, from casino and sport betting to online lotteries. The only obstacle in the further development of Latin American market is incomplete regulations.

Legislation a Big Problem

Although the legislation in many of Latin American countries is still rudimentary, no one can overlook the progress that has been made during the last year.

The latest country to announce a new gambling legislation is Peru. The new set of rules is aimed at modernizing the legal aspects of gambling in this country, and while the proposals are still under review, the bill could soon reach Congress.

The draft includes the provisions for online casinos, sportsbooks and betting terminals, and this approach to evolving technologies definitely makes Peru one of the continental leaders. Although many countries didn’t manage to keep their legislation up with modern technologies, their use in monitoring and control has been essential.

Colombia, Argentina and Mexico have reached similar levels, but the whole process wasn’t without difficulties. Regulators across the continent had to bear in mind the individual properties of their respective markets, and it seems that many of them succeeded in adapting to the local markets.

Different Approach, Same Goals

According to Marzia Turrin, senior Vice-president for MBB Testlabs in Latin America, the differences in individual markets are holding down the convergence. Compliance is often over complicated, she says, and that’s why some companies like to operate in pre-regulated markets.

Luis Gama, president of the National Lottery of Uruguay emphasized the importance of the regulation of online gaming. He said his own country was an example of a market pushed into grey area by legislation, or – to be precise – by the lack of it.

On the other hand, online gambling is regulated on the provincial level, with each local legislation having individual characteristics. In Nicaragua, only land-based casinos can apply for online license.

Costa Rica doesn’t require licenses, but service can’t be offered to local population, the same as in Panama. In Colombia, a license holder can only target locals.

Regulation is an important step to making the most out of these markets, which obviously have a lot to offer, but are in desperate need of a guidance. When will that happen is up to local lawmakers and politicians, who often overlook the possibilities that a regulated market brings.

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