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SBC Summit LatAm: what should an ideal sports betting jurisdiction look like?

A panel of experts at the SBC Latin America Summit last week discussed the issue of gambling regulation in a session titled Creating the Perfect Scenario for Online Betting in South America. GLI Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Karen Marcela Sierra-Hughes moderated the panel.

Sierra Hughes began by asking a group of experts, dispersed geographically, what legal framework they prefer. Some unique points were mentioned that make individual jurisdictions superior to a single system. For example, Colombia has an open market with corresponding tax rates.

Brazil served as an example of what not to do. The country has until December 12 to regulate sports betting, otherwise the law will expire. There are some pain points such as the 22 million reais ($5 million) license fee every 5 years. Although it seems that the regulators are trying to drive money into the country.

Another issue is the tax on individual winners, which is 30% of the 1,900 reais (approximately $368) prize. A successful market in Latin America is more than just good regulation. For the market to work, people around the world need to understand that South and Central America is not a gold mine for sports betting.

This is not only a low-margin business, like all over the world, but also a need for differentiated products. Moreover, all sports are important in Latin America, not just football. Taxes and license fees won’t make things better if operators don’t invest time and money into honesty, formal partnerships, and creating marketable products.
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