Latin America: The Next Gambling Powerhouse?
The Latin American gaming industry is quickly gaining traction. In Uruguay, Argentina, and Mexico, the gaming industry has grown significantly due to favourable regulations and a growing consumer base.
The gaming industry is seeking to take advantage of this expanding market in these countries. Latin America’s gambling industry and the economy would be boosted further if all forms of gaming were legalized, from land-based to online, but first, let’s look at the state of gambling laws in South America and compare them to European gambling markets.
Comparing the Gambling Laws of Latin America and the EU
There are many differences between the gambling regulations in Latin America and those in the EU. Many countries, including Mexico, legalize and heavily regulate gambling. Other countries, however, consider it illegal. As a result, online gambling players find themselves in a lot of confusion. If you however want to avoid this confusion you will want to where you can try your luck on your favorite slots without wagering any money.
In most European countries, the European Union creates gambling laws. Historically, gambling has been a major part of European culture. For centuries, people in Europe have enjoyed gambling from betting on horse races to playing casino games. Even though some forms of gambling are more popular than others, most European nations have some type of gambling industry. As far as gambling laws are concerned, European countries have been less cooperative until recently. Players and operators were both confused by each country’s rules and regulations. The EU Single Market for Gambling Regulation was introduced in 2012 to change that. EU member states now have to follow a set of unified gambling rules created by this framework. The European Union does its best to oversee gambling legislation throughout Europe, but it is ultimately the nation’s responsibility to make its own rules.
Latin America’s Growth
The Latin American region is currently a key growth market for global online gambling companies seeking to expand in newly regulated markets. Several territories have followed Colombia’s lead in implementing regulations for online gambling products, including Panama, Peru, Brazil, Chile, and several provinces in Argentina. Major European operators are either seeking licenses or partnering with local operators to operate in these territories.
According to conventional demographics, about 75% of the population is over 18 and the area is home to more than 307 million players. In 2026, it is estimated that locally-licensed online gambling will generate USD 4.4 billion in revenue across 11 Latin American countries.
Latin American Gambling’s Future
Every civilization on earth has some sort of gambling. Putting bets on the result of cooperative games such as poker and dominoes, as well as betting on sporting events and animal races, all constitute gambling.
In 2021, sports and other forms of betting accounted for 40% of Europe’s online gross gaming income, over €14.6 billion. The gaming industry is present in every town, city, and municipality in Latin America. However, South American gaming laws are notoriously out of date, relying on antiquated standards from a different era.
There is no way to predict how online gambling will develop in LatAm because the attitudes and regulations toward gambling in the region vary from country to country. Even so, as more people gain confidence with online transactions and seek convenient ways to gamble, there is a possibility for growth. Due to the rise of internet gambling, the industry has expanded far beyond land-based casinos, making it attractive to offshore operators. As evidenced by the high number of new gaming sites and casinos launched each month in Latin America, it’s safe to say that the iGaming market is just getting started in this region.