It’s been four years since Colombia became the first country in Latin America to establish a local licensing regime for online gaming, unlocking the potential of an entire continent. Since then, several countries in the region have followed suit while others are still exploring the possibility to regulate igaming.
As the trailblazer in the region, Colombia has done an excellent job of creating a market where licensed operators are allowed to thrive. Players have access to a wide product offering, including both sports betting and online casino games, and are safeguarded by sound player protection measures. The challenge for any regulated jurisdiction is to strike that balance between establishing attractive market conditions while introducing necessary regulatory measures that are not too stringent or cumbersome to scare away operators and content suppliers. It goes without saying that to have a well-regulated market, you need to appeal to operators targeting the country while offering players the products they desire in order to keep the black market to a minimum and ensure maximum protection of consumers.
Colombia’s success also lies in the approach of its gaming regulator, Coljuegos, to engage with industry stakeholders and respond to their concerns. A perfect example is its recent quick response to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 outbreak when the regulator introduced a series of measures to help steer the gaming industry through the crisis. No regulation is perfect, however, and in Colombia, the requirement for operators to store data locally has proved challenging. Nevertheless, the market’s legislation sets a benchmark for other countries in Latin America looking to regulate internet gambling.
Greentube entered the Colombian market in 2019 and we have been quick to gain market share, now partnering with four operators in the country and seeing great interest in our content. For Greentube, it has been a learning curve, having experience in multiple European markets, and entering a completely new region that differs in many ways. Most importantly for us, players in Colombia have a preference for table games and video bingo in addition to the traditional slot games which are popular in most European markets. The bulk of our content portfolio in Europe is based on our classic titles, known from land-based venues, and fruit games. Yet in Colombia, although iconic slots like Sizzling Hot deluxe, Lucky Lady’s Charm deluxe, and Apollo – God of the Sun are part of the favourites, other games like Royal Crown Roulette, Royal Crown Blackjack, and 1-2-3 Bingo are topping the list.
After making a strong entrance in Colombia, we were thrilled to also have launched in Paraguay this spring with local operator Il Palazzo. Being on the doorstep of Argentina and Brazil, the region’s two biggest economies, the market offers huge potential for growth both within the country and beyond its borders. Our land-based content has for many years proven successful with local players and so we expect our online adaptions will be equally popular. Paraguay is an important step in our South American strategy, and we are looking forward to expanding our business there as a means for further international growth.
Greentube is also keeping a close eye on the developments in several other countries in Latin America where discussions around regulating online casino gaming are taking place. Our next pending market entry is Mexico where we have struck a deal with the leading local operator. Greentube’s strategy is to operate only in regulated markets, which ensures we act in a legal and compliant matter but moreover, gives us an advantage when establishing new partnerships. As most major operators choose to be active only in legal markets, they prefer to cooperate with suppliers that also comply with the regulation. Equally important before entering any market is the growth potential; the strategic fit of our product and the availability of established distribution channels and platform providers. From our experience and based on the popularity of our games in the region’s land-based casino segments, we believe that Latin America has the potential to become one of our core regions and we continue to explore every opportunity with great excitement.
Written by: Markus Antl – Head of Sales and Key Account Management at Greentube