Gambling in South America: the most regulated markets

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Latin America is a region with huge potential for the development of the gambling sphere. This is so due to the large population, rising middle class, high adoption rate of mobile devices and inexhaustible interest in sports betting. So, is the online casino market legal in South America?

In some countries all gambling types are in the white zone, in others, it is legal to provide only just a few gaming services. There are also several locations where gambling is banned for now, however, local governments are contemplating or have already begun to develop related legislation. Its introduction would mean the full or partial legalization of iGaming in these territories.

Let’s figure out which South American gaming markets are the most regulated and what opportunities they provide for operators.


Argentina is one of the Latin American gambling giants. This densely populated country is one of the most economically developed territories in the region. In Argentina, casinos and sportsbooks are regulated at the regional, not the state level. In provinces where iGaming is allowed, operators can provide all its types, but only to customers from this region. It is worth noting that today gambling is legal in most Argentinian provinces. 

The laws of the jurisdiction strictly prohibit targeting through casino advertisements to minors or misleading users through any marketing tricks.


Colombia is a South American gem for sportsbook operators. A large population, a fairly high level of economic development and passionate love for football in one place sound like a formula for the success of any remote bookmaker.

Colombia was the first LatAm territory to recognize virtual gaming as legal and implement the relevant legislation. This happened in 2016, and a year later, local governments began licensing online casinos and bookmaking platforms. Currently, Colombian operators are allowed to provide all types of iGaming except remote betting on horse racing.

The iGaming industry in Colombia is constantly developing and growing. Today, this business area brings huge revenues to the state budget and thereby stimulates its economic growth.

Costa Rica

There are no gaming regulations or licenses in Costa Rica. However, you can legally run an iGaming business there. To do this, you just need to register an entity in the jurisdiction. After that, it is allowed to provide gambling services, but subject to two strict rules. Firstly, local banks cannot process your company’s transactions, and secondly, you must not offer your games to Costa Ricans.

Since there is no license fee in Costa Rica, and the process of registering a company is quick and simple, this jurisdiction is among the most popular locations for legalizing the gambling business today.

Dominican Republic

Another major player in the South American gambling scene is the Dominican Republic. In this country, almost all types of games are allowed and controlled. 

It is worth noting that casinos were legalized in the jurisdiction back in 1964, when the main industry legal act was adopted. This document mentions that gambling is an important way to attract tourists to the country. This is a vivid example of how the state recognizes the potential of the gambling industry and does everything for its development.

The price of an iGaming license in the Dominican Republic is $230,000. Moreover, there are several additional fees for local operators. Despite this, the permits of the jurisdiction are quite popular due to the soft licensing requirements and the loyalty of the local authorities.


One more Latin American gaming jurisdiction with a huge potential is Mexico. Almost all types of gambling are officially allowed there. However, there are no Mexican licenses for iGaming. To legalize an online casino or betting website, you only need to obtain authorization and partnership with an offline casino license holder. 

If the Mexican authorities reconsider the procedure of licensing remote operators and start issuing separate permits, the development of this sector will reach a new level. Thus, the jurisdiction could legalize a significant part of the income from online gaming, which (especially sports betting!) is incredibly popular among local residents.


Panama can be proud of its fully regulated gambling market. This jurisdiction issues licenses for both offline and virtual casinos and bookmakers. The document allows you to provide almost any gambling service. The licensing fee in Panama is $49,900.

Among the pitfalls of legalizing the gambling business in the country are strict and thorough background checks and endless red tape with the collection of a huge package of documents. On the flip side, Panama has no currency control and its license is considered one of the most respectable in LatAm.

Hidden potential: Brazil as a future of LatAm online betting

Brazil is the largest South American country with a population of over 210 million people. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Brazilians are obsessed with football and making bets. That is why this country is considered a sleeping giant, whose awakening has been awaited by the global community for a long time.

To date, most types of gambling are banned in Brazil. The ice broke in 2016 when a special group was created to work on the betting regulations. Eventually, in 2018, a law on gambling was approved. However, its implementation was postponed for an undefined period.

According to experts, after the reform, Brazil will become the most powerful land-based and online betting market in the region. The LicensingAid team is on the pulse and waiting for good news.


Latin American casinos and bookmakers are getting more and more customers, which means that operators and government budgets are getting more and more profit. The iGaming sector continues to develop, and as a result, new jurisdictions are introducing gambling regulations. Today, the whole world is waiting for the legalization of online betting in Brazil, but there are other territories with good potential.

If you are an operator thinking about legalizing the iGaming platform in Latin America, you have a variety of options to choose from. Contact our experts to get professional advice and full support in the licensing process.

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