As technological advancements increase in Latin American countries, a new wave of iGaming players are making their way onto the Internet. This market has already proved lucrative for many affiliates who have capitalized on Latin America poker players fond of gambling online. Understanding Latin American beliefs and demographics can be essential for tapping into this expanding market.
Lessons in Localization
From an outsider’s perspective, it can be tempting to group Latin American countries together and view them as a whole. However, there are very significant differences between these nations. It is wise to acknowledge and target these distinctions in marketing campaigns as Latin Americans are very proud of their home countries and respond well to campaigns that acknowledge their unique qualities.
Briefly, here are some key aspects to consider from some of the largest Latin American iGaming markets (ordered by population):
- Brazil: by far the most populous Latin American country with a population fanatical about national pride. Psychotic sports fans fiercely loyal to national soccer team and Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighters Junior Dos Santos, José Aldo, and Anderson Silva. Poker is also very popular in part due to the great marketing work of PokerStars. Brazil is home to a strong economy and rapidly growing Latin American social media market.
- Mexico: smart phone technology paving the way for working class Mexicans to access the Internet. Large national pride for Manchester United football star Javier “Chicharito” Hernández. Gaming market has huge potential as there are no legal concerns halting expansion; most iGaming sites accept players from Mexico. Slot machines most popular casino game.
- Colombia: new and quickly growing national interest in poker. Fastest growing rate of inhabitants with Internet access in Latin America. Permissive government makes market easy to access. iGaming still rather unpopular here but shows promise.
- Argentina: largest land-based gambling market in Latin America. Online gambling at offshore providers is banned, but residents do so anyway since they take on no personal risk to do so. Enthusiastic sports-betting market and deep pride in FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi.
- Venezuela: strongest sense of national pride in the world. Bingo and national lottery both popular here; developing interest in poker thanks to televised events. Baseball popular as many top MLB pros are from Venezuela. Most iGaming sites accept Venezuelans.
- Chile: highest percentage of residents with Internet access in Latin America with a very popular gambling market. Strong sports-betting and horse racing industry. Growing interest in poker; host to one of most popular Latin America Poker Tour stops. Permissive government. Interest in lotteries accounts for half of $600 million gaming market.
Slot machines are most popular casino game among Latin Americans due to a lack of understanding about many other games. Casino versions of card games often differ from the cultural understanding of the games as played at home. Argentina boasts strongest familiarity with casino games.
A unique 75-number style of bingo is played throughout Latin America where it is very popular. Bingo south of the border is played with more fever and passion than in most English-speaking countries. It’s a high-energy, social activity with a strong presence across the region.
Most Latin American nations have very popular national lotteries. Online lotteries also convert well in the region as they tend to be easily understood. It’s an everyday pastime for many Latin Americans and accounts for a huge percentage of the overall gaming market.
Thanks to PokerStars’ marketing efforts and their creation of the Latin American Poker Tour in 2008, poker is growing rapidly in popularity in most Latin American countries, specifically Brazil, Chile and Colombia. Poker has given everyday Latin Americans a chance to compete with a sense of national pride on the line, something which was previously enjoyed only by athletes.