Research shows that, like everyone else, Latinos love to gamble, displaying a greater propensity for the activity than other ethnicities. As the online gambling sphere explodes, set to increase by 50% in the next three years, Latinos are naturally amongst those seeking to test their luck on the internet.

According to gambling analysts, the South American market is watched closely, as estimates say that it should experience exponential growth in the coming decade. With over 423 million people residing on the continent, 75% of which are of legal age, experts suggest that the surging region has an untapped user base that is itching to play. From 2010 onwards, betting on games of chance and sporting events has seen a drastic rise in popularity as legalization has become laxer in South America. In 2010, the continent’s casino market alone posted annual revenues of $3.8 billion, which increased to $5.6 billion in 2016 and have further risen by 20%.

For comparison, those figures are less than half of what Las Vegas pulls in annually. However, it is unfair to compare the two as South America is a fledgling gaming region, currently compromising less than 6% of the global market, and one that’s yet to bloom.

A 2018 industry report (BtoBet) stated that South America’s mobile gambling produced revenues of over $1.9 billion in 2017, which then grew to $3 billion in 2018. The same report suggests that annual online gaming revenues should rise by 20% and that the trend of countries regulating local gaming industries is what’s attracting investments.

In North America, Mexico has a somewhat regulated industry aimed at tourists, which pulls in annual revenues that surpass $10 billion. It is second in Latin America only to Argentina, who posts numbers that go over $16 billion. What’s notable about Mexico is that in 2017, there were 150 registered gaming sites, and estimates say that now that number is close to 200. The US is also experiencing a shift toward the legalization of online betting. Currently, you can gamble at digital casinos in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Michigan will join this list shortly. However, your online sports betting options are quite vaster, and you can play poker online in the previously mentioned states, as well as in Nevada.

The USA States Where Latinos Gamble the Most

It is hard to come across accurate statistics regarding gambling demographics. Not many organizations or academic institutions conduct surveys on this subject, and no government body collects such information. Thus, it is impossible to find data that displays who plays where and what. People are also not likely to give up information on how much money they’ve lost at an activity some may see as taboo.

However, we can deduce that states that legalize betting and have a high Hispanic population are where they gamble the most. Seeing as they have can do so legally.

For instance, California has the highest Hispanic population in the US, at almost 15.5 million. However, it only allows for legal cardroom, betting on horse racing, the lottery, and tribal casinos, which are unpopular options amongst the Hispanic community. 

New Jersey, which allows all forms of gambling, with its two million Latinos, is plausibly the state where those from this ethnicity likely play the most on average. Pennsylvania and Nevada each have about 700,000 Latinos, and they too allow for almost all forms of gambling. That said, seeing as New Jersey and Nevada are tourists’ destinations that target those into all forms of this activity, they attract visitors from other states, which boosts their numbers.

In the past few years, land-based casinos in the US have made attempts to drive up Hispanic engagement, considering that the community’s purchasing power stands around $1.5 trillion. Such an approach has been successful for some Arizona casinos. Investors are trying to use these numbers as an argument to push through the legalization of land-based establishments in California.

Stats do show that Latinos are less likely to play poker than other ethnicities. That they are equally as likely to play online slots, and when it comes to sports betting, they love wagering on baseball. They make up 31% of baseball bettors, even though they are only 14% of the fanbase.

Online Casinos for Hispanics

If you are looking to play games of chance on the internet, you should always check the terms of the platform you consider before attempting to register. Often, inside these terms, there will be a list of restricted regions. If you find your country on this list, you will not create an account. Alternatively, you could utilize a VPN service to mask your location and game the system, but you risk losing your funds if the site discovers the manipulation.

Quality online casinos that accept players from regions where local laws permit the activity include El Royale, Las Atlantis, and Wild Casino. It is your responsibility to know your local regulations and abide by those rules. The three mention casinos accept US players, so Hispano-Americans can freely enjoy all that they have to offer, generous bonuses included. Other terrific choices include Super Slots Casino and Red Dog Casino. These are all reputable options that often rank as among the best platforms in the industry. They offer online slots, live dealer games, as well as video poker. Sadly, sports betting is not available at these sites.

Latin American Countries with Legalized Online Gambling

According to Layla Ali, conference producer at Clarion Gaming, while there’s been progress, there is still a lot of work ahead before both international and local operators can reap all the benefits that Latin America’s massive population has to offer. Currently, there are only a handful of countries that allow multiple forms of online betting.

To date, Colombia is the only country that has an operational and fully regulated online gambling market. In 2016, the Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos legalized casino and sports betting, and 18 licensees are operating at present in the country. The organization’s president, Juan Perez, believes that plans to regulate live table games and virtual sports will soon come to fruition. Due to these developments, iGaming giants have their sights set on Colombia and look carefully at how local operators develop. Online gaming revenues increased by 83% in 2020 in the country as compared to the previous year.

In 2018, Brazil approved a bill to legalize sports betting via the internet, which gave the Ministry of Finance a two-year deadline to draft the necessary regulation. Puerto Rico is also preparing to launch online sports betting, while Paraguay allows only one local company to take wagers on sporting events. Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic permit online gambling, and Panama regulates the sphere but does not allow its residents to participate in the activity.

Mexico has no specific legal framework regulating online games of chance, but the government allows land-based establishments to offer online gaming services. There are plans for a new legal framework, but it remains stuck in the National Congress. Costa Rica also does not explicitly regulate gambling, but its government’s policy permits such websites’ operation. Thus, it has become a popular industry hub, and its lottery regulator is seeking to regulate sports betting.

Argentina regulates online betting on a regional level, with eight of the twenty-three provinces in the country allowing it. Bolivia has a regulatory framework for companies to offer online casino gambling services, but it requires implementing a secondary framework.  

Online Casinos for Latinos Where Gambling Is Not Regulated

Even though things are shifting and legalization in most places is on the horizon, playing games of chance online is still not regulated everywhere. In Peru, the activity is a legal grey area. While separate bills got presented in Congress in 2018, the situation remains at a stand-still. Uruguay and Chile both explicitly prohibit betting on the internet.

However, just because there are no laws that regulate the sphere or ban it, that doesn’t mean that authorities seek to prosecute those who indulge in the activity. For the most part, they do not care if residents gamble at off-shore sites.

Platforms for Latinos playing from countries that do not regulate online gambling include Jackpot City Casino, Spin Palace Casino, and Black Diamond Casino. Players should not have issues registering an account with any of these sites. However, note that the platforms often change their terms. So, they may restrict access to players from specific regions in the future due to many reasons. 22Bet Casino is another superb option that also features sports betting. For Latin American poker enthusiasts, Bodog, BetOnline, and GGPoker are terrific picks.