Market Insights
Betting regulation in Latin America: current scenario and expectations
By understanding Latam's regulatory scenario for betting, you can tailor your strategies and make the most of the region's opportunities for the industry.
Betting regulation in Latin America: current scenario and expectations
Mariana González Senior Marketing Analyst – PagSeguro Mariana González

It’s easy to understand why worldwide betting businesses have their eyes in the Latin American market: iGaming is the fastest-growing segment in the region, soaring at a CAGR of 38% until 2026 – which means it will go from a volume of $ 21 billion in 2023 to impressive $ 54 billion by 2026. This reflects the wider acceptance betting has been finding with Latam customers – the once-stigmatized practice is now seen as a legitimate form of entertainment, with sponsorship deals, millions of users, and extraordinary opportunities.

Another major aspect that pushes betting volumes across Latin America is regulation. Betting regulation is at different stages in each of the region’s Top Six Markets – Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Peru –, directly impacting the current volume and the future prospects for the segment.

Thus, it’s important to understand the regulatory scenario so you can tailor your strategies accordingly – keeping in mind that, due to the relatively newness of the betting industry as we know it today, regulations are changing fast to reflect the security, agility, and structure businesses – and its end-users – need. So keep reading to understand more about the regulatory landscape for betting merchants in Latin America:

The iGaming industry across Latin America

Betting numbers in Latin America

  • Total volume in 2023: US$ 20.6 billion
  • Cross-border share: 11% -> US$ 2.3 bi
  • Expected volume for 2026: US$ 54.1 billion
  • Cross-border share: 11% -> US$ 6 bi
  • Source: E-commerce and Payment Landscape in Latin America, PagSeguro’s 2023 white paper

The vertical's massive growth drives the progressive adoption and evolution of robust regulatory framework in almost all of Latam's Top Six Markets.​ Colombia has the most mature and robust regulatory framework for betting, presenting merchants with substantial confidence to rise in the country's iGaming industry.​ Peru also has a solid legal framework for betting, while Brazil is also quickly catching up.​ At least up until now – February 2024 –, a notable exception is Chile, where there is still no robust regulatory framework for betting.

In this scenario, international merchants are now eager to explore the region’s betting market; however, it is crucial to obtain in-country expertise to ensure compliance with newly approved regulations and avoid any reputational risk that could ensue from entering these high-risk markets without the proper knowledge. Of course, there are important cross-country differences in how these markets have been established – keep reading to get more details about that.

Country-by-country overview

Let’s now take a closer look at the regulatory landscape for betting in each of Latin America’s Top Six Markets, and how that impacts iGaming volume in that country:


Online casinos, poker games, and bingos are authorized to operate in Argentina, but activities related specifically to online betting are regulated province per province, meaning different levels of acceptance and maturity. Sports betting holds the largest share of the betting market in the country, with soccer league teams frequently being sponsored by betting firms.

In 2016, Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, granted eight concession contracts to private companies operating in the online betting sector — six were signed with major global players and two with local firms, BetWarriors and Bplay by Boldt. This scenario leads to modest expectations about the betting market in the country, where it should go from a US$ 1 billion volume in 2023 to US$ 2.2 billion by 2026.


In 2023, the Provisional Measure 1182/23 regulated the activities listed in Brazil’s 2018 Sports Betting Law, formally bringing this legislation into effect and granting the betting industry a license to operate in the country. Sports betting represents the largest share of the iGaming market in Brazil, and such merchants are important sponsors of soccer teams – so much so that all teams playing in the main league have a betting company as a sponsor, such as for São Paulo, Pixbet for Atlético-MG, and Betano for Fluminense.

All in all, the prospects for the iGaming industry in Brazil – the #1 market in Latam – are extraordinary; the segment rises at a CAGR of 49% per year, the highest in the region. Brazil had a betting volume of US$ 6.7 in 2023, which should grow all the way to US$ 22 billion by 2026.

The latest ruling established parameters for local payment processing, tax collection, and other aspects related to the development of the betting sector in Brazil — for instance, it specifies that poker is the sole game permitted in online casinos in the country. Approved in December 2022, Foreign Exchange Resolution 277 also established a specific classification and code for the betting sector that can now be used in exchange contracts, further contributing to the official integration of this sector into the mainstream Brazilian economy.


Sports betting is still not regulated in Chile, and there are no local iGaming platforms operating in the country. Online casinos are also not yet authorized to function domestically, but many Chileans play in international casinos.

Consequently, the betting industry in Chile rises slowly in terms of total volume, but it actually has one of the highest CAGRs in Latam – it will go from US$ 400 million in 2023 to surpassing the US$ 1 billion-milestone in 2026, showing an annual growth rate of 40%.


Colombia stands out as the market with the most mature and robust regulatory framework for the betting sector in Latin America. The “games of chance” were fully regulated in the country in 2015, prompting many foreign and domestic operators to enter the local online sports betting market.

This leads the country to have the second biggest iGaming volume in the region, just behind Brazil: Colombia’s betting industry summed up US$ 6.3 billion in 2023, with expectations to surpass $ 12 billion by 2026 – especially impressive considering that the country’s total e-commerce volume is of US$ 42.3 billion, against Brazil’s almost $ 275 billion.

In this optimistic scenario, Colombia’s well-developed gambling market and its solid regulations give key merchants and players in the financial industry substantial confidence to engage in all transactions involving segments of the betting sector in the country.


A series of laws approved in 2013 in Mexico officially allowed the practice of online betting, but the sector is still pending specific regulation—the Gaming Regulation also establishes guidelines that could be applied to online gambling, but only indirectly. Thus, Mexico still needs to advance to ensure it has a stable and predictable legal framework for betting.

On the other hand, it must be recognized that, albeit slowly, the country’s regulatory landscape for the sector has progressed. There is also great interest from merchants to enable betting on domestic and international soccer games, as well as on MLB, NBA, and NFL games, so these merchants will probably keep pushing for more legal guarantees.

Online casinos are still in a regulatory gray area in Mexico, so many international merchants have partnered with local licensed brick-and-mortar casinos to offer online gambling options for Mexican consumers.

In this landscape, Mexico’s iGaming industry manages to rise at an impressive rate of 40% per year, going from almost US$ 4 billion in 2023 to US$ 10.8 billion by 2026 – the cross-border share of that volume also grows, going from 22% in 2023 to 28% in 2026. Thus, even with still-developing regulation, Mexico’s betting market should not be overlooked.


Peru has a solid legal framework for gambling activities, encompassing online sports betting. This provides foreign and domestic companies with legal certainty to operate in the sector and also helps attract consumers. Regulatory oversight for the sector is provided by the Dirección General de Juegos de Casino y Máquinas Tragamonedas (DGJCMT, General Directorate of Casino Games and Slot Machines).

The country also has specific regulations governing online casinos, which are overseen by the DGJCMT as well. Overall, the Peruvian iGaming market summed up US$ 2.3 billion in sales in 2023, a volume that is expected to be just under US$ 6 billion in 2026.

How regulatory matters impact the payment landscape for betting

Most betting transactions in Latin America are processed through specialized PSPs (Payment Service Providers). Cash vouchers have been an important payment method in this industry for a long time, but in the current – and much more digitized – landscape, instant payments have been the protagonists of iGaming payments.

This happens due to a number of reasons. First of all, the instant nature of such methods is highly appealing to the business model of online betting, since it allows the user to make quick decisions, enjoy time-sensitive campaigns, and to have fast access to the money in-app. Then, there’s also the matter of fraud prevention: since instant payment methods such as Pix are not prone to chargebacks, it’s more secure for the merchant and more frictionless to the user.

In Brazil, Pix makes up a volume of US$ 2 billion in betting payments, almost 30% of the country’s total of US$ 6.7 billion in online betting volume. By 2026, Pix will process US$ 8.4 billion for iGaming, or almost 40% of the volume Brazil’s betting industry is expected to reach that year: US$ 22 billion.

Partly because many regulatory frameworks for the betting sector are still recent and evolving, a high number of foreign merchants have chosen to enter Latam’s markets through partnerships with local companies and payment providers. These partners in general have in-depth knowledge and extensive market expertise about each country in the region, enabling foreign groups not only to leverage the full potential of Latam’s betting markets but also to avoid the reputational damages that could arise from noncompliance with specific aspects of these new regulations, as well as keep up-to-date with anti-risk measures according to the profile of fraud attempts in the region.

Having a local partner also allows merchants to offer their clients seamless local payment options, including real-time solutions — by operating with a more effective payment processing system. Finally, a crucial advantage for the betting sector in particular is that, through an efficient payout system, it is also possible for foreign businesses to allow their clients to collect their money quickly and easily when they win a game or a bet, something seen as essential to ensure high rates of customer satisfaction and retention.

For more details on the betting market in Latin America, its prospects for the near future, and information on other key industries in the region, click below to download our exclusive white paper E-commerce and Payment Landscape in Latin America, 2023-2026:

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