A Safe Bet in South America: Taking the ‘GLOCAL’ Approach
They’re passionate, they’re fanatic and they love gaming—these are Latin Americans in a nutshell.
With a population amounting to over 639 million person in 2016, LatAm surely has the numbers to attract the operators’ interest. But does it have the infrastructure in place to transform this interest in concrete opportunities for the whole region?
Due to recent developments, the Latin American iGaming market has received a growing interest of late.
Experts believe that it won’t take long before more Latin American authorities will realize the benefits of the added tax income and job opportunities that a regulated online gaming market will provide.
A successful iGaming growth
Thanks to great advancements in technology, Latin American gamers have quickly developed a huge interest for online gaming. The surge in the use of smartphones, especially among young people, means that online gaming operators now have a strong advantage over land-based casinos.
Some of Europe’s biggest operators have already made their presence known, especially in countries like Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and even Brazil.
From an internet penetration point of view, the Latin American region is well above the global average. In fact it is estimated that as much as 66.1% of the LatAm population has access to the internet, 14.2% more than the 53.1% of the world’s total penetration. In the whole region as much as 417,940,160 people are thought to be internet users, which amount to around 10.3% of all the internet users on a global level.
Maximizing the opportunities in LatAm iGaming market
Think ‘glocal’ – that’s always an advice that experts give when they are asked about how to maximise opportunities in emerging markets and especially so with South America.
Although significant cultural and regulatory differences remain between them, industry experts of all stripes recommend that operators adopt a flexible approach – in terms of both product and technology – to truly make the best out of this complex region.
While broad similarities exist between betting markets across the world, if you’re going to make it big in LatAm you have to know the differences, whether they be practical, such as language and culture, or subtler, such as gambling preferences and domestic approaches.
One of the main similarities that LatAm has with the rest of the world when it comes to gambling is an obvious one – a love of football.
The passion for sports in South America is incredible but football is the big one, which is hardly surprising given the presence of huge footballing nations like Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
However, the market is still in its infancy, which means there are big opportunities available but also hurdles to cross – a difficult feat without knowing the ins and outs of the region.
Adaptation of the European Operators in LatAm
A big priority for many European operators is the online market and both the e-commerce user and the e-commerce market has grown a lot as a whole, going hand-in-hand with sports betting opportunities and gaming opportunities.
The whole online market there is still emerging but there’s a lot of potential provided the appropriate preparation measures are taken care of. For instance, as well as the need to have customer support representatives who speak the appropriate language, you need to be aware of the cultural differences. Brazilians will think slightly differently to Peruvians or Colombians, while the power and economic influence that Brazil has in relation to other areas of LatAm is a big factor too.
It’s very difficult to manage all this from an overseas location – to try and run operations from Europe or elsewhere without people on the ground in South America. This is crucial in order to understand the local culture and environment as well as potential problems and opportunities.
To sum up, that’s what the ‘glocal’ approach is about – be global and think of the bigger picture, but don’t lose sight of local market details. The more information you have, the more successful you can be and the bigger reach you can get.
There can be no doubt as to the potential of the market but, equally, it’s also clear that any prospective moves into the area need to be fully planned and mapped out to be able to succeed in LatAm.