2022 was a year full of developments in the Latin American industry, especially in South American countries. What was supposed to be the moment of glory for countries like Brazil and Chile ended up being the consolidation of markets like Argentina and Peru.
SBC Americas analyzed which markets are the most attractive to follow in 2023:
The Peruvian market has been operational for multiple years. However, online gambling regulation only arrived in the middle of 2022, so the industry still has a long way to go.
With 45,000 formal jobs, and on the way to recovering the 92,000 that it had before the pandemic, Mincetur has been in charge of updating the industry in the country, which is currently facing a delicate political and social position.
By 2023, it will be necessary to closely monitor all these situations and analyze if and how much they will affect the gaming industry, as well as the implementation and development of the online industry.
With markets already operational and with the most important companies with local entities present in the country, both the City and the Province of Buenos Aires emerge as two of the most attractive jurisdictions in South America.
The affinity for sports, specifically soccer, the interest in betting, and a high percentage of internet penetration mean that these two territories continue to be the focus of attention for multiple companies.
Beyond Buenos Aires, provinces like Cordoba and Mendoza have already done the hard work and created an adequate regulatory framework. The only thing they need is the green light to continue with their processes or launch their markets.
These initiatives are likely to be replicated in other provinces throughout 2023, despite the fact that it will be an electoral year in Argentina and intense legislative activity is expected.
Mentioning Colombia as the example in the region can be repetitive, even if it actually is. With a range of verticals and games, in 2023 the country will continue to be at the forefront of the industry.
With almost every – if not all – modalities approved and in operation, what can Colombia do to continue innovating? The challenge will be to provide Latin America with the stability that it can’t see in other sectors.
The regional history is long and complex, but Colombia seems to be able to simplify all the processes around an industry that benefits and provides security to its clients. The task in 2023 will be to ask what the next steps are and how they can improve a product that already works and excels.
The rioplatense country has been trying to regulate online gambling for several years. The discussions that started at the end of 2021 were resumed in the third quarter of 2022, to debate how this market could be implemented.
Different insiders believe that Uruguay could generate between $45m and $55m a year in gross revenue.
One of the central points of the project that is still waiting for a vote in the Chamber of Deputies is that, in order to access an online license, a casino license is needed. In other words, the market would be limited to companies that already have an existing offer.
Uruguay’s biggest advantage is having a small market, so taking advantage of the current land-based operators can be seen as a plus for 2023 to implement the online market and its respective rules to provide a safer environment for players.
There are many analyses about Brazil, many of them completely different from each other, but there is only one on which everyone can agree: Brazil missed a great opportunity to kick off 2023 with an operational online betting and gaming market.
Interested parties will have to resume the fight to get votes in different commissions and in the Chambers, with the hope that a proposal will finally reach Lula and the future President agrees with it.
In the past, the man who will start his third term as Brazil’s president on January 1 has assured that he would agree with Congress if it decided to approve the betting regulation.
With multi-billion dollar estimates, it is expected that activity will resume as soon as possible in 2023, although it remains to be seen if the heavy legislative activity in the first months of Lula’s presidency will slow down the industry’s momentum.
Contrary to the trends seen worldwide, and especially in Latin America, Chile decided to restrict the industry in 2022: at the end of November, the Chamber of Deputies approved a ban on sponsorships. Although this measure is now being debated in the Sports Commission to define its future, a clear position has been established.
As if that approval wasn’t enough, the same Commission formally asked FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the relationship between the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP), even if 11 out of the 16 teams in the top league have existing agreements.
Parallel to this ban, there is a project for Chile to have a regulated online market. The main operators in the region are already there and have been accused of operating without a license, despite being the most interested parties in being regulated by the State.
In 2023, Chile will have to define what benefits it wants to obtain from the gaming industry and how this possible ban on sponsorships will affect sports entities and bookmakers.
In mid-December, the US House passed a bill that allows Puerto Rico to hold a referendum to decide if it wants to become the 51st state, to be independent or to be independent with free association to the US.
While it is likely that the bill will reach the Senate with little to no chance of surviving, it would be interesting to discuss in 2023 how it could affect the betting regulation in the event that the island decided to be independent.
It should be noted that Puerto Rico already has a regulation in place thanks to the repeal of PASPA in 2018 at a federal level in the US.
After launching its process in 2021, the local Gaming Commission approved licenses for seven companies: Ballers Puerto Rico Sportsbook LLC, LMG, and CCHPR Hospitality, LLC (Casino Metro) as operators; and Swish Analytics Puerto Rico Inc., US Integrity Inc., Continent 8, and Caesars Digital PR Inc as suppliers.
In the last couple of years, regulators have called Puerto Rico “the entry point to the US” for Latin American companies, as well as the entry point to Latin America for US companies.
If it votes in favor of independence, will Puerto Rico continue to insist on the power of its duality or will it reinforce itself with a different framework than the ones seen in the US?