You’re viewing the international version of the website. Choose preferred region to see the regional version of the website.
English
Contact Us

Emerging markets will dominate the iGaming conversation throughout 2024, and the Latin American market is home to multiple new opportunities. Keep reading for an overview of regulations and revenues from Mexico to Brazil and get an idea of the region’s tremendous potential.

Latin America is a land of promise for the iGaming industry. Markets that have already chosen to regulate online casinos and sportsbooks are seeing stable growth in the sector, and countries with favorable regulations on the horizon are anticipating astonishing levels of growth in the near future.

The regulatory status of online gambling varies across the continent. Some countries currently prohibit all forms of gambling — with an understanding that online gambling is included — except for state lotteries. In other countries, while it is not officially regulated, it is not actively prohibited either.

Bolivia and Nicaragua cover online gambling in their overall regulatory framework for the gambling industry as a whole. In Argentina, online gambling is regulated on a province-by-province basis.

Bolivia and Ecuador are all among the nations considering or actively pursuing reforms to their online gambling laws. Colombia, meanwhile, announced a draft resolution on anti-money laundering measures.

Below, we offer a country-by-country rundown of the South American online gambling market as we enter 2024.

Argentina

With a population of nearly 45 million, Argentina is Latin America’s fourth-largest country and third-biggest economy. More than 75% of the country's population are active internet users. Gambling is regulated on a province-by-province basis, with operators only allowed to offer their services to residents of their province. In those that choose to regulate, operators are allowed to offer virtually all forms of gambling.

At the federal level, operators can be levied income tax, value-added tax, and tax on the crediting and debiting of their bank accounts. The introduction of indirect tax on online betting for resident and non-resident operators further complicates the taxation scenario.

At the federal level, operators' activities may be taxed as follows:

  • income tax at a rate of 41.5% on income (while dividends received on income taxed at 41.5% are not subject to income tax);
  • value added tax, in principle at a rate of 21% if the operator charges participants or players (e.g. rake in poker);
  • tax on deposits and debits, at a rate of 0.6% on deposits and 0.6% on debits from operators' bank accounts. Up to 33% may be considered as an advance payment of income tax.

The country also regulates gambling advertising. Advertisements may not feature or target minors, and may not be deceitful or misleading. Only authorized operators may advertise their services in the country.

The IPLyC — the regulatory authority for the province of Buenos Aires — began 2021 by launching its licensing regime with a series of partnerships between domestic companies and foreign operators such as William Hill, Bet365, and 888 Holdings.

Brazil

Brazil, Latin America’s largest and most populous country.

With a population of over 200 million (an estimated 63% of whom have access to mobile technology) and a nationwide passion for sports — particularly football — Brazil is a dream come true for sportsbook operators who want to expand into South America.

Brazil's Chamber of Deputies has given final approval to regulate the market in 2024, marking an important step in the development of the country's gambling laws. The approval follows the passage of Bill 3,626/2023, which not only regulates sports betting but also reauthorizes gambling. Also approved were all tax proposals submitted by the Economic Affairs Commission on Nov. 22.

The law was approved after a vigorous debate in a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies. Members of Brazil's evangelical political bloc attempted to reject the proposal, expressing their concerns about the possible harmful effects of a regulated gambling sector. Their opponents, on the other hand, argued that regulating the industry represented a more rational approach, legitimizing it and ensuring safety for all participants.

It is forecasted that in the next three years, the revenues from the Brazilian sports betting and online casino market will exceed 100 billion Brazilian reals ($200,404,737). This revenue is expected to be primarily generated through tourism.

Chile

Chile is taking major steps toward creating a regulated market. Chile’s Ministry of Finance introduced a bill to regulate online gambling in March 2022. At the end of 2023, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill to regulate online gambling. In 2024, the bill is to be submitted to the country's Senate for further consideration.

If the Senate approves the bill, new powers will be granted to the Superintendence of Casino Games, the Commission of Financial Markets, and the Internal Revenue Service.

The bill would set license fees at $74,189. Licensees will be responsible for a few different fees, making contributions to the National Sports Institute, the Chilean Olympic Committee, and the Chilean Paralympic Committee, for a total of 2% of the company’s GGR. There will also be a 20% tax on GGR, and a responsible gambling contribution of 1% of GGR.

The bill also addresses the country’s approach to illegal gambling. Media outlets won’t be allowed to carry advertisements for unlicensed sites, internet service providers will block access to illegal platforms, and banks will be able to block transactions with illegal operators.

At the moment sport betting is run by a state monopoly and online casinos are illegal, however the wen legislation is expected to allow unlimited number of licenses.

Colombia

Colombia is one of the biggest markets on the continent. With a population of over 50 million, the fourth-biggest economy on the continent, a mobile penetration rate of roughly 56%, and a well-documented national passion for football, Colombia presents a massive opportunity for online gambling businesses — especially online sportsbooks.

Colombia became the first country in Latin America to regulate online gambling in 2016, and the gaming and betting market has been growing steadily since licensing began in 2017. With the 2016 regulation of the online sector, almost all forms of gambling, both land-based and online, are now legal in the country — with the exception of online horserace betting; only Coljuegos, the country’s regulatory body, and private operations with government concessions may operate trackside betting.

Online casino license holders are required to pay an annual license fee of 811 Colombian minimum wages, which is approximately $196,830, based on a minimum wage of COP 1.16 million (as of March 2023).

Online casino operators must also pay a 15% gambling tax if they provide a return percentage of 83% of the total bets. Otherwise, the gambling tax is 17%.

Finally, concession owners must pay an administrative fee of 1% of the NGR and an annual license fee.

The industry is posting some breathtaking statistics as it continues to grow. An estimated GGR of the Colombian gambling market reached almost $300 million in 2021, and the state revenue increased by 18% in 2022 compared to 2021, which makes $175 million.

Costa Rica

As an economically and politically stable country, Costa Rica is an attractive base for a number of international industries — including the iGaming sector. While laws from 1922 and 1974 prohibit games where chance is a deciding factor in the outcome, the government’s unspoken approval has turned the country into a hub for the online gambling industry.

Authorities permit gambling companies to be established in the country provided they follow Costa Rican law, which prohibits them from offering gambling services to Costa Rican citizens. They can, however, accept players from other jurisdictions.

The government’s tolerance of gambling enterprises and lack of a tax on internet gambling revenues has made the country highly attractive for online casino operators; an estimated 450 companies related to the iGaming industry operate out of Costa Rica.

More on this topic: Obtaining a gaming license in Costa Rica in 2024
Learn more

There is no official gambling license issued by regulators; instead, online casino operators apply for a “data processing” license, and are frequently classified as call centers. Additionally, Costa Rican banks do not process transactions for online gambling operators located within the country’s borders.

The Dominican Republic

The casino industry in the Dominican Republic developed along with the tourism industry throughout the second half of the twentieth century, as the government aimed to diversify the country’s economy. The 1960’s and 70’s saw the legalization of gambling and tax breaks for private companies that invested in tourism, including casinos.

Update

In 2022 the Dominican lawmakers decided to create a new regulatory body and introduce gambling tax reforms. The new directorate is going to consist of the public and private sector experts. This change is still to be implemented.

Follow the most recent updates in the Industry news section.

All forms of gambling are regulated in the Dominican Republic, except for fantasy and virtual sports betting, which are neither specifically regulated nor prohibited. Online gambling licenses cost roughly $230,000, with operators obligated to pay an additional $23,000 in administrative fees.

The Dominican Republic enforces a 10% turnover tax. Operators must also provide the National Directorate of Casinos and Games of Chance a tariff of RD$1 for each RD$100 they process, as well as investing an additional RD$2 for each RD$100 processed for providing technological equipment to the directorate. Operators are also required to withhold 25% of players’ winnings and direct the proceeds to the national treasury.

Ecuador

Land-based casinos and bingo halls were forced to close in 2012. Online gambling, similarly, is prohibited. However, in 2019, a group calling itself the Association of Former Casino Workers of Ecuador began calling for a reversal of the prohibition. The group’s leader claimed that Ecuadorian citizens simply traveled to neighboring Peru and Colombia to gamble bringing with them an estimated $45 million in potential revenue, and casinos should be reopened.

In January 2024, the President submitted 11 questions to the Constitutional Court for a referendum among the country's population, the latest of which concerns public opinion on the operation of casinos, bingo, and betting shops.

The anticipated referendum was originally scheduled in March, but it may be postponed due to the urgent need to stabilize the situation in the country. In the context of a national crisis, the fate of the gambling sector continues to be subject to broader uncertainties related to the internal conflict and its possible impact on the economy.

Guyana

Guyana’s Gambling Prevention Act prohibits gambling, but there are a number of exceptions, such as lotteries and pool betting. Casino gaming became legal in 2007 as part of a push to stimulate the country’s tourism sector. As of yet, only two casinos have opened, and only guests of the attached hotel are permitted to play. There is also one lottery and seven sports betting companies operating in the territory.

There are no laws explicitly prohibiting online gambling in Guyana. The country’s Gambling Prevention Act specifically bans gambling in common gambling houses, a requirement that remote gambling does not fulfill. However, in 2013 the government revoked gambling licenses held by remote gambling companies.

Mexico

With over 120 million people, a mobile penetration rate estimated around 60%, and the second-strongest economy in Latin America, Mexico is widely considered to be fertile ground for new and expanding online casino and sportsbook operators.

Nearly all forms of gambling are regulated in Mexico except for land-based card rooms (poker games are only permitted in casinos) and fantasy sports (which are permitted, but not expressly regulated). Like the rest of Latin America, all games of chance are popular throughout the country, with bettors showing an added level of enthusiasm when it comes to betting on football.

The main piece of legislation governing gambling in Mexico is the Federal Gaming and Raffles Law of 1947. Full regulations came into effect (after much debate) in 2004. In 2021 new guidelines with criterias on advertising, bonus and player loyalty policies for operators were published. In 2023, the president of Mexico passed a new bill banning all land-based slot machines in the country. However, representatives of the gambling industry have signaled their intention to file a lawsuit against this ban.

Online casino and sportsbook operators don’t require an additional license, only authorization and a partnership with a land-based license holder. However, the country could stand to benefit if the regulatory authority, the Directorate General of Games and Raffles, were to loosen requirements and issue more licenses.

Nicaragua

Aside from racing, fantasy sports, and betting on virtual products, all forms of gambling — both land-based and online — are regulated in Nicaragua. Regulatory authority is split between the Control Board of Casinos and Gaming Venues and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. Though land-based and online gambling were legalized in 2001, the industry remains largely underdeveloped.

Panama

Almost all forms of gambling are regulated in Panama. Online gambling is subject to local licensing, and operators can offer sports betting, auto race betting, and a full range of casino games. Some products, however, are prohibited; the list includes lottery games, betting on horse races, amateur events, political elections, and other events, at the regulator’s discretion.

Licenses cost approximately $49,900. Applicants must have a legal representative in Panama, comply with all rules and regulations, submit to a background check, and be established in the country. Online gambling is taxed 10% of Gross Gaming Revenue. Gambling in Panama is regulated by the country’s Gaming Control Board.

Regulatory changes announced in September 2020 made Panama one of the few countries in Latin America with a fully licensed online gambling market. Previously, licensees had been barred from offering their services to Panamanian citizens, but now operators will be allowed up to five “.pa” domains. Regulators anticipate licensing between 10 and 15 operations.

Paraguay

Almost all forms of gambling are legal in Paraguay.

Paraguay’s sole licensed sports betting operator brings in roughly $4 million in taxes annually. In 2016, the government drafted a bill that would update some of the country’s gambling legislation, in particular when it comes to online gambling. In 2017 Conajzar, the local regulator, organized a sports betting tender that lasted for five years. In 2022 Paraguay decided to repeat this practice.

Peru

Peru regulates everything but fantasy sports. In August 2022, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo signed Act No. 31,557 to regulate gambling in the country. And at the end of 2023, Peru's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) approved regulations for the country's sports betting and gambling sector. The new rules will come into effect on February 9, 2024. Operators currently operating in the Peruvian gambling market will have one month to apply for a license. Thus, companies will have from February 10 to March 10, 2024 to submit their application.

Uruguay

Most forms of gambling are legal in Uruguay, however only the Banca de Quinielas de Uruguay is allowed to offer online gambling today. However the country is moving towards a developing gambling market status. On August 16 2022 the senate voted to create a proper regulation for online gambling. The General Directorate of Casinos of the Ministry of Economy and Finance will also create a fund to prevent and treat problem gambling.

Venezuela

Casinos and bingo halls were banned in Venezuela in 2011. In 2019, the government approved a cryptocurrency casino in an effort to boost the value of the country’s Petro cryptocurrency. In 2021, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reversed the decision made by his predecessor, the late dictator Hugo Chavez, and legalized gambling again. In the long term, up to 30 establishments may appear in the country, and several have already opened.

How can Slotegrator help?

Starting an online casino or sportsbook is no easy feat. Without expert assistance, potential operators can stumble right out of the gate. Our jurisdictional advisory services can assist you with choosing the right market and business structure for your enterprise, as well as acquiring a license.

Latin American bettors are famously passionate about football. Meet their needs with Sportegrator, our customizable online sportsbook solution that comes with a wide range of data feeds and sports disciplines to bet on.

Petr Stehlik
Petr Stehlik
Lawyer
In 2016, Petr graduated from the Law Faculty of Charles University in Prague. The main area of law on which he focused both during and after his university studies is software law (and intellectual property in general). After graduating, he briefly worked at a medium-sized law firm in Prague, but in 2018 he joined Slotegrator, where he has been working ever since and where he handles the company’s day-to-day legal matters.

Comments

  • G
    Gaurav Gupta
    August 11, 2022
    I am Gaurav and I represent an India based Fantasy and Skill Based Real money gaming platform - First Games. We have grown tremendously within India in the last 4 years with a robust user base and high revenues. We are now looking to aggressively expand overseas to explore the online betting and casino market. We would request your guidance and support to identify target markets as well as the regulatory and legal framework for these markets. I can be reached at [email protected]. Looking forward to hearing from you for potential collaborations. Regards, Gaurav
    Artur Movchaniuk
    Artur Movchaniuk • Business Development Manager
    August 11, 2022
    hello! Will be happy to assist you with this! Messaged you.
  • G
    guven erkaya
    October 28, 2022
    Hello can i contac withy andybody we want to get sisytem.
    The Slotegrator team
    The Slotegrator team • null
    October 28, 2022
    hello! Got in touch with you!

Leave a comment

Get in touch with us by filling out the form below:

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

More from slotegrator

By clicking on the Fine button, you accept our website's cookies policy.

Find out more