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September is the AGA’s Responsible Gambling Month in the U.S.A., and, in this second post of our four part review, Bernard Aquilina, Enteractive‘s Responsible Gaming & Compliance Manager, looks at best practices and shifting regulations in Latin American markets.

A Journey Through Time: Responsible Gambling and Regulatory Histories in Latin America

In the vast expanse of Latin America, the rise of online gambling has been tumultuous. Each country, defined by its unique culture, history, and economic backdrop, has trodden a unique path in its bid to strike a balance between burgeoning digital entertainment industries and societal wellbeing. Let’s take a voyage through time and trace the history of responsible gambling in South America, looking at the leading markets in the order they embraced and then regulated online gambling.

Colombia: Pioneers in Regulation

As the first South American nation to regulate online gambling, Colombia’s journey started in 2016. Historically, Colombians have shown a proclivity towards sports betting, but with the influx of online platforms, a myriad of casino games became popular too. Interestingly, 55% of Colombians emphasise the importance of enjoying the game, underpinning the nation’s vibrant culture. However, with 52% pointing out the legality of platforms as a critical factor, it’s evident why Colombia took early regulatory steps.

Argentina: A Federation of Provinces

Argentina, with its decentralised approach to gambling regulations, has witnessed a myriad of policies over the years. Province by province, each region began embracing online gambling at its own pace. Though Argentinians show a relatively lower concern (29%) about the legality of gambling platforms, the primary emphasis is on fiscal prudence; 53% prioritise not risking money they can’t afford to lose. This mirrors the nation’s economic history, laden with fiscal crises.

Peru: The Balancing Act

Peru, with its rich pre-Columbian history, has a relatively nascent online gambling market. 57% of Peruvians equate responsible gambling with the absence of anxiety, and 52% underscore the fun aspect of gambling. While Peru’s regulatory landscape for online gambling has evolved over time, the cultural attraction towards both sports betting and local games like “La Tinka” or “Pichanga” continues to be a significant draw.

Chile: The Upcoming Revolution

Currently in the throes of regulatory transformation, Chile stands at a fascinating crossroads. While online gambling remains illegal, a legislative bill seeks to bring it under regulatory oversight. This push is essential, considering 46% of Chileans favour fiscal prudence in gambling. Additionally, Chile presents a unique demographic scenario; 79.7% of problem gamblers are women, contrasting global trends. This has led to specialised support groups, highlighting the societal nuances the industry needs to consider.

Brazil: The Giant Awakens

Brazil’s vibrant and diverse culture resonates in its gambling preferences too. The nation, currently amidst regulatory changes, has historically witnessed a love for both sports betting, especially on football, and traditional games like “Jogo do Bicho”. Notably, one in three Brazilians highlight the importance of not chasing losses, a figure significantly higher than its neighbours.

Esports betting has also gained significant popularity in Brazil in recent years – the country’s enthusiastic videogaming community, coupled with the growth of esports events, has led to a surge in betting activity. Online platforms have made it more accessible, attracting both experienced bettors and newcomers. Esports betting has firmly established itself as a thriving element of Brazil’s gaming culture.

Transcending Language Barriers

An interesting quirk in the region’s responsible gambling narrative is language. “Juego responsable,” a direct translation of “responsible gambling,” leans more towards player’s self-regulation than industry’s accountability, highlighting the importance of contextual translations in resonating with the local populace.


The tapestry of online gambling in South America, with its vivid colours and intricate patterns, showcases a tale of diversity, evolution, and responsibility. Each nation, with its unique history and cultural backdrop, provides invaluable lessons on the harmonious coexistence of entertainment and societal welfare. As the next chapters in Latin America’s online gambling saga unfold, one thing remains certain: the emphasis on responsible gambling will continue to be a keystone for the industry in Latam.