Maria Bashkevich is Head of Marketing at Uplatform, a fast-growing and dynamic sports betting and casino operating platform. Having held Senior marketing positions at various gambling companies and working in different iGaming verticals, Maria has developed extensive experience and understanding of the industry. Her area of expertise is working in markets such as the CIS, LATAM, Europe, and Africa.
As Latin American iGaming markets keep opening up several business opportunities for operators and providers, there are many aspects to be considered in order to make the best decisions and design the best strategies in order to leverage them and be competitive. The expert team of global sports betting and casino platform provider Uplatform has analyzed those aspects in this comprehensive article, including mobile-friendly solutions, localization, payment methods, trends like esports, and regulations in Latin America.
Latin America's potential is immense. Combined with a supply of untapped clients, the region is looking more and more like the ideal place to invest. The iGaming market in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, and Peru show significant signs of expansion. As well as progress with legislative changes like in Brazil, with the upcoming legalization of sports betting, Brazil is poised to become the biggest sports betting market in the world.
With LATAM's vast range of new and fragmented markets, businesses wishing to engage in this region may face difficulties because it requires profound knowledge and understanding of the solutions they need or operational challenges and starts looking for answers.
Latin America is like a mosaic tile; it consists of countries with diverse cultures, audiences, and players with unique preferences, which require different strategies. Not only this. Even within one country, the tech or fin penetration, the betting culture and market requirements from region to region, from state to state, can vary. It's quite challenging for operators to enter South America's markets without deeply understanding these differences and preferences. A knowledgeable partner will be of great help with supporting these challenges. Uplatform has a wealth of knowledge and solid investment and interest when it comes to diverse, complex and emerging markets, with Latin America being one of those on the list. For operators looking to expand into the LATAM gaming industry while minimizing the negative impact on their business, the Uplatform team has outlined in the following what it takes to succeed in LATAM.
Increased access to smartphones has led to astronomic growth in Latin America’s iGaming industry over the past few years. Statistics from Statista showed that in 2020, Brazil had a smartphone adoption rate of 84 %, which was projected to increase to 88% by 2025. The next highest adoption rate was recorded in Argentina and Chile, each with a 70% adoption rate. As a majority of the population in these countries cannot afford expensive PCs and consoles, they increasingly purchase mobile devices. Statistics show that in 2020, the percentage of houses with internet access via PCs in Argentina is 48%. In Colombia, it is 44.8%, and in Brazil, it is 38.7%.
LATAM's low proportion of households with access to PCs and high penetration of mobile internet necessitates a need for light web versions, mobile apps, and optimized mobile web versions. And Uplatform offers them all.
There are 20 countries and 13 dependencies in Latin America, making it one of the most diverse regions of the world. The languages that are spoken in the majority of these countries are Spanish and Portuguese, but there is also more diversity when you consider there are English and Dutch-speaking regions. These are fundamental aspects that you should meet in tailoring your project before entering these specific regions.
Languages are simply one aspect of localization; another is the locals' preferred sports, leagues, and betting choices. There’s no surprise about what the leading sport is here, as Latin Americans are some of the most passionate football fans in the world. More than 67% of their bets are made on the beautiful game. Apart from the World Cup, the tournaments that most appeal to them are the Champions League, the Italian Serie A, the English Premier League, and the Spanish La Liga. Interestingly, the latter two have very similar levels of interest.
When it comes to sports fans, content localization is an essential ingredient; It's not simply just the big football leagues LATAM bettors follow. Latin American countries all have their own football teams and domestic leagues that operators need to cover too. A great example of localization is the sports betting offers provided by Uplatform, which is quite geographically comprehensive and also regionalized for the LATAM market and is a perfect illustration of meeting the demands of local markets. Their extensive market coverage offers a huge advantage for localizing content for local populations to cater to their betting preferences, not just only for the feverish football fans but all the LATAM followed sports - covering the sporting events that LATAM bettors love, such as horse racing, tennis, basketball, and motorsports, with over 200+ sports total in line, including such exclusive as Brazilian Campeonato Pernambucano U20 league or Chilean Tercera Division.
Another crucial factor is the betting experiences. Each Latin American country has its own gambling culture. For example, Latin American players’ betting habits differ from those of European players. Operators can expect lower bets at a higher frequency; for slots - higher number of spins in a session. Different kinds of bonuses, cross-sales, and other marketing tools can increase players' engagement. Also, additional features are warmly welcomed in the area. For example, to improve live betting experiences (which is very popular in the region), Uplatform offers a special live zone with the possibility to hold multi-live bets - to follow 2,3,4 or more events on the same screen. Furthermore, Uplatform offers many other favored features, such as Bet Constructor, Bet Builder, and unique bet types, to keep LATAM betters entertained and engaged.
The statistics when it comes to banking and payments in Latin America differ greatly from country to country and region to region. For instance, in Brazil, most adults in the north lack access to financial services like debit cards, credit cards, or even bank accounts, in contrast to those who live in the south.
Latin America may not have the same amount of market access as other countries such as the US or Europe. Therefore, local financial institutions, payment networks, and fintech companies are more popular than international ones.
Consumers have become increasingly comfortable using digital wallets and contactless mobile payments, even though the unbanked population remains high and cash transactions still dominate in the region. Several Latin American countries have developed alternate payment methods for their citizens without access to financial services by adapting and innovating. As a result, fintech, banks, and even governments increasingly embraced digital payments to enhance the financial inclusion inherent to this region.
It's essential to understand the local bettors payment preferences and offer options that people are used to in their own country and will find the most beneficial to their current circumstances; this also improves their betting experience and establishes trust. Considering the lack of access to traditional global banking institutions and the adoption of payment alternatives, the Uplatform team is well prepared to meet the needs of the locals in Latin America. Their range of payment options includes eWallets, mobile payments, cash, e-currency exchangers, payment systems, cryptocurrency, and eVouchers. Inovapay, Directa24, AstroPay, Pay4fun, Vcreditos, All4pay, and others are also available.
To accommodate the specific needs of the LATAM market Uplatform also offers a multifunctional agent scheme with a multilevel agent hierarchy, detailed reporting, and statistics to take full control of operations, allowing businesses to expand throughout Latin America.
As far as trends go, there are several reasons to expect the growth of Esports in Latin America in the next few years. The key reason is that there are strong teams emerging in the region in games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Fans are more likely to spread the news and grow their fan bases in regions where a team is winning on an international level. Sponsors and investors are then attracted, which in turn strengthens the teams and creates a growing ecosystem.
Several tournaments already take place in the region, and Mexico will host a play-in event for the League of Legends World Championship.
In many regions of the world, Esports is already developing at a rate that can compete with traditional sports. Latin America may not be the most prominent esports market at the moment. Still, this market should not be overlooked with the growing expansion of teams, general popularity, and the rise in the number of tournaments in the region.
Businesses looking to capitalize on Latin America's growing Esports market can take advantage of Uplatform's sportsbook. As a global sportsbook provider, their offering has been at the forefront of the esports explosion. Their extensive sportsbook offers comprehensive esports coverage ready to capture the growing LATAM esports audience. Games such as CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2, Rocket League, and many others are available. Including high-tier leagues, random matches, and a wide range of markets.
Speaking of iGaming laws, most South American governments have stepped up their attempts to legalize, regulate, and tax the increasingly popular iGaming sector.
Nations such as Argentina and Uruguay are leading the charge to enact pragmatic gambling regulations, which will benefit the local economy while also reducing the negative repercussions of illegal betting.
Bolivia and Ecuador, on the other hand, still follow rulings made over a century ago, generally by religious leaders, and their national gaming industries are both in tatters as a result. Meanwhile, countries such as Brazil are displaying how they are bridging this gap by implementing legislation that modernizes the law, despite conservative opposition that resists change and maintains the old methods.
Latin America has significant untapped potential for businesses yet presents some challenges that new and expanding businesses can face. Partnering with a trusted partner can help you succeed and grow. Uplatform has invested in developing solutions to capture and penetrate LATAM's large and diverse consumer market. Their comprehensive range of effective solutions is designed to help operators enter the local market. Their skilled team has the know-how to navigate LATAM's complexities, ensuring a successful expansion without any issues.
Get expert advice on how your business can thrive in LATAM by contacting the professional team at Uplatform.