Gaming Industry in LatAm Expected to Grow

Latin America is famous for many things and to that we can now add online gambling, the super-continent stretching from Mexico in the north to Chile’s southernmost now the second fastest-growing market in the world with annual revenues topping $6billion 

By: Andrew Burnett

Poker fans will know of course that Brazil is a massive player in the online poker market, that the likes of Argentina’s Maria Lampropoulos and Ivan Luca are crushers, and the LAPT descended on Chile for 8 wonderful years of live action.

What they might not know, though, is that the wider casino and gambling territory has seen Colombia emerge as a shining example of regulation, or that Latin America will soon account for more than 10% of global online players and is behind only Southeast Asia in growth rates.

That phenomenal figure amounts to 266million individual players, from online poker to virtual casinos and all points inbetween – with the mobile market particularly booming during 2020.

Among those who have seen a huge surge in interest are - a Peru-based online casino with global links, tapping into a flourishing market.

In fact, they have been in the iGaming market for a decade now, but this year - for obvious reasons – more people than ever have been using their services.

A closer look at the Latin America numbers during the coronavirus pandemic show an overall 10% sector increase year on year. Revenues are expected to increase by 25% by 2023 – in real numbers that’s an extra $2billion across the territory, to $8billion in total.

That has naturally seen huge investment in the market, and for players of all games it means more choice, more games offered, more bonuses and, on the back of Colombia’s decade-long licensing drive, an overall healthier and regulated environment.

It does ask the question of those in the industry how best to ‘monetise’ the online arena – reports that Latin American (LatAm for short) players spend less than their North American continent counterparts.

North America’s figures are expected to top $40billion by the end of 2020, a smaller increase of 8.5%, but clearly a much bigger slice of the pie. That, though, could well change in coming years.

Across the border from the Peruvian example above, in Chile, is looking to engage the 100million or so real money fans, as well as tap into the more than 150million who have so far preferred free to play or play money mobile games.

The mobile-based industry is of course the main focus for players, providers, investors, advertisers, affiliates and any other group you might care to mention.

According to AdColony’s Under the Microscope series, mobile gaming already represents 41% of the market share, and is expected to increase to 51% by 2021.

Some of the numbers their survey produced make for interesting reading, including the fact that 66% of LatAm users play games on their device every day, typically between 5pm and 8pm.

With 70% seeing online gaming as a safe environment, it’s more generally fun and relaxation they are looking for, although a full 25% are looking to win money or other prizes from their play.

Surprisingly perhaps, male and female numbers are almost identical when it comes to mobile play, and age groups vary less than one might expect.

Roughly 89% of 15-24 year-olds play daily, balanced at the other end of the spectrum by 82.35% of those over 45 years of age.

Overall, it appears that Latin America is most definitely on the up-and-up when it comes to all forms of online gaming and gambling, and the next decade could see them overtake many more established markets.


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