Although neither Latin nor South America has fully legal jurisdictions for online gaming ventures, opportunities are beginning to abound. The key to properly entering the Latin & South American Internet gambling markets is to ensure you understand some of the basic factors at stake.

While many policy makers in Latin and South America recognize that the global trend is to legalize online gambling, especially as the neighboring US makes strides, they are still limited by technology.  Primarily, it is the lack of technological advancements that are delaying the implementation of the proper regulatory framework. That being said, Panama is making great progress and is the jurisdiction model to follow.  Following Panama, the other countries to keep an eye on are México, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Perú.

Latin America is the new “vedette” in the world for many businesses. The potential around LatAm is similar to how the market regarded the potential for online gambling in the USA in the late 90’s. In 2010, Latin America had 215 million internet users with an expected growth to 310 million in 2015. E-commerce spending in 2010 was nearly USD 27.6 billion, with an expected growth to nearly USD 70.1 billion for 2015.

While the numbers in Latin America may be smaller than other regions or countries (such as Europe or USA), growth is strong and steady. The Internet penetration and e-commerce figures are going up and up every month and all the whole continent is into a “solid defense” against Europe & US economic recession.

Partly based on the limited technology, payment processing capabilities also pose challenges. In some countries, only customers with international credit cards are able to perform online operations.  But players want to play where they can deposit money, and in many cases, those payment solutions do not exist.

Another important factor to consider is that each country has its own culture, and therefore, its own set of unique player demographics. Distinctively understanding customer behaviors and having the ability to effectively profile customers are key elements of success. And despite the unregulated marketplace, there are still large companies who continue to do just that and are aggressively advertising their message and brand.

Localization is KEY. Brazil is completely different than other countries in Latin America- even the differences between Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, etc., are significant. Every country has its own slang. Marketing strategies can be pretty similar if you’re targeting the right audience with the right slang. Latin Americans are not used to terms such as “bonuses” yet, so any type of regular bonus should be OK for now (it depends on what are the competitors doing too). When it comes to cultural differences, Brazilians and Argentineans are crazy sports fan, more so than other countries. Chileans like to play poker a lot too.

Big players like Bwin, 888, Betsson, Pokerstars, Sportingbet (Miapuesta), among others, already have a presence in some Latin America countries like Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, etc. They are making long-term investments, obtaining huge databases of free players and getting them ready to make them profitable in the near future.

In 2012, entered the Brazilian market with a localized product. Affiliates are promoting the brand through

Why bet on Latin America? Until countries decide to regulate remote gaming, the only opportunities for online operators are under internal, local regulations. But, the e-commerce will be experiencing spectacular growth during the next five years.  Couple that with a virtually untapped audience of players, and it has the potential to be the next big thing.

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