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 Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments

Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments
Origin: Matin Van Geest
Published: 2019-06-19

At a global level, the gambling industry is highly valued and even protected by the amount of money it contributes to the GDP of the different countries, however, Latin America presents a variation in terms of this economic model, specifically in regulatory and financial matters. tax rates, because while the regulation of the sector in European countries has advanced enormously in recent years.


The changes in the Latin American region have been occurring much more slowly independently of the fact that many countries have managed to adapt legality to new forms of play.

In such a way that Latin America can be a reflection of any situation that we wish to analyze, because there are countries with a specific and clear regulation for the sector, but also countries without any legislation on the matter where no effort is made to prepare legally for a growth, and finally also countries in which online gambling is still prohibited, without wanting to transcend in the understanding that the latter is in a global boom allowing generating a huge amount of resources for different governments.

The latter has only achieved that in a large part of the region online casinos move in the legal vacuum plane.

Precisely because players begin to demand from the market this type of gambling platforms, with simple facts such as access without any problem to Internet gambling sites in other countries or that are not authorized by means of tools such as the VPN, which change the IP address of the system (be it a computer, smartphone or tablet) allowing you to access any site by passing as if you were in another country.

This leads to the countries where these forms of gambling continue to be illegal, stop receiving the income or benefits that would correspond to them if they had legislation in accordance, which would also provide more guarantees and security to bettors or players.

A simple argument to give greater validity to this situation is that players from countries like Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Argentina spend around 15,000 million euros per year in betting

On the other hand, Colombia continues to be an example in regulatory frameworks for these countries that begin a new journey in the legalization of online gambling, because our country is recognized worldwide for regulating the activity with the same precision and seriousness so as not to be left behind. regulatory and regulatory frameworks of European countries.

Finally, this is an industry that should be taken into account by any government in a positive way, since having a well-regulated and legalized gambling industry is something extremely beneficial for any country, since it is not only an important and extremely attractive source of income , but it helps to give guarantees to the players to avoid the proliferation of scams, and submerged markets of illegal bets that mostly nourish only the criminal networks and even drug trafficking of each country.



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Tribal Casinos - Economic Giants beyond Las Vegas 

Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments

Native American casinos, otherwise known as Indian Tribal casinos, have long had a major influence on gambling - especially in the US and, for a long time, these were the only establishments where it was legal to gamble, outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Indeed, there are Indian gambling establishments in over 50 percent of US states (29 in total), and all of these can be found on tribal-owned land, though as a side note, while this land is sovereign, it doesn't necessarily mean that all casinos that are found on tribal land are run by Native Americans.


What many people do not necessarily realize, is that Indian casinos are big business. Furthermore, the annual revenue that is generated by tribal gambling establishments significantly exceeds the figure that the entire Las Vegas strip churns out. In 2021, Native American casinos recorded a GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) of $39 billion - over five times more than Las Vegas, which stood at $7 billion.

There are some misconceptions relating to tribal casinos, with many people believing that to enter one of these, you must be of Native American origin - this couldn't be further from the truth, and, in fact, there are those who prefer Indian casinos.


It is understood that the population of Native Americans in the US stands at 6.79 million in 2024 (roughly 2.9 percent of the entire US population). Furthermore, the vast number of Native Americans are considered 'poor', which essentially suggests that they do not have the means to use tribal casinos.

Bets & Prays in Brazil 

Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments

In Latin America (LatAm), somewhat surprisingly, no country has an official state religion. However, many associate Christian denominations with the region, finding LatAm in general synonymous with faith.

The Latin American people are, for the most part, Christian,” says Magnho José, editor of BNLData and president of the Instituto Brasileiro Jogo Legal. “In most countries, this figure exceeds 80%, including Catholics and evangelicals.”

And according to both José and Hugo Baungartner, vice-president of global markets at Aposta Ganha, religion is having an increasing impact on politics in the region.

Currently, the strength of religion on the continent and the advancement of a religious influence in institutional politics is notorious and more and more religious people, whether progressive or reactionary, have come together to propagate their projects in the public sphere,” José explains.

Baungartner adds, “[Religious] influence has been growing year by year with the increase of different religion types. Nowadays they even have their own politicians, including forming groups to execute their power and influence.”


Influence on Brazil’s legislative outcomes

Few LatAm countries have seen religious influence on their gambling policy like Brazil, despite being a religiously free country, which even boasts a national day devoted to the principle – 7 January.

According to the Global Religion 2023 study – carried out across 26 countries – Brazil has the highest percentage of citizens who believe in God or a higher power, at 89%. Predictably, this has bled into the country’s political regime.

Over the last 82 years, several topics have caused controversy in Brazil and among them is the legalisation of gambling,” explains José. “Those who do not live in Brazil will have difficulty understanding the lack of objectivity and common sense of Brazilian politicians when it comes to gambling. Religious issues end up contaminating and distorting the debate.”

Brazil has been rocked by the evangelical movement over the last few years, with around a third of its population identifying as evangelical in 2022. It is no surprise, then, that evangelical lawmakers greatly opposed Bill 3,626/2023, the long-awaited law to regulate sports betting and igaming, almost stopping its progress completely.

The most important country that faced [religious opposition] was, and will be, Brazil,” says Felipe Fraga, an expert on Latin America.

The reason is that when we look over the most populated countries, no one has more than 20% of an evangelical population. Also, the movement of neo-pentecostalism is very powerful in Brazil and the political connections they have are very strong.”


Unintended effect of the black market

As with any regulating market, concerns remain over the presence of black and grey markets in Brazil. For Baungartner, the religious-centred aspect of the evangelical argument might do more harm than good in this respect.

They say that [gambling] is against their faith and their God which, also, is against it,” he explains. “They use it to influence other politicians.

Literally, for them it is devil’s business. They don’t understand that the world changed and it is better to have it regulated, instead having the grey market.”

Fraga – an evangelical himself – agrees, proposing that regulation will safeguard Brazilian citizens.

They claim about a social point of view, looking to risks of addiction and how it can affect society, also arguing about money laundering and match-fixing,” he explains. “They say that the bill will allow or facilitate bad behaviour and criminal acts, which is completely wrong, since the idea of regulation guarantees for the country itself taxation and societal safety.

It is exactly what the industry is looking for: fair rules for keep offering modern ways of entertainment.”

Right at the forefront of evangelicalism’s strongly-held beliefs about gambling is family values, according to José. He notes that at the recent National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), gambling was slated as bringing “irreparable moral, social and, particularly, family damage”.

The following was heard at the event: “A vote in favour of gambling will, in practice, be a vote of contempt for life, for family and its fundamental values.”

But the dispute goes beyond a moral perspective. Evangelicals and other religious politicians also point to legitimate industry concerns, such as money laundering and tax evasion – which regulation would naturally address.


A long winding road to regulation

Religion’s influence on gambling law in Brazil stretches back much further than the last few years. Gambling was banned in the country in 1946 due to religious influence and bingo was legalised between 1994 and 2005 before being prohibited once again.

This is why the passage of Bill 3,626/2023 received such a positive reception when it passed in December – it was a long time coming.

Brazil is currently in the process of regulating its igaming and sports betting market. The country’s ministry of finance, in conjunction with the newly established regulator – the Regulatory Policy of the prizes and betting secretariat – is continually publishing rules for the market, which include prohibiting credit card and cryptocurrency payments.


Could Brazil backtrack on gambling regulation?

But to those rejoicing in the market regulating, José warns them not to get comfortable.

There is a great risk of backsliding,” he states. “I don’t believe it will get to the point of repealing gambling laws, but the religious will hinder expansion and try to stifle existing gambling operations.

The ecumenical opposition that criticises the possibility of legalising gambling should reflect that the positive benefits of legal gambling far outweigh the disadvantages proposed by any person or group against gambling.”

Baungartner is insistent that, at the end of the day, gambling is a business and its acceptance in other countries neutralises its standing saying: “The mentality has changed over the years.”

So outright revocation might not be on the cards – not yet, at least. As long as the industry plays ball, says Fraga, it should be a smooth road ahead for Brazil’s regulating market.

As much the industry grows in Latin America and shows that it is an important part of society – generating jobs, moving economics, entertaining, controlling addiction, etc – there will be no reason to revoke the laws,” he says.

Even though we can consider the risks, there will be nothing happening soon.”


Is more regulation the answer to keeping players happy? 

Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments

During last week’s SBC Summit North America at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, a group of amateur gamblers were asked what they sought in the North American gaming market.


Regulators need to do their job – regulate,” said professional gambler Captain Jack Andrews during “Player’s Panel: What are Professional and Amateur Gamblers Looking for in the North American Market.”


That answer might seem surprising – ostensibly, less regulation would be preferred, there mostly was an expressed preference for stricter regulations and fairness from the operators with which they placed bets.


Sharps – those with long-term winning records as sports bettors – don’t get the preferential treatment they deserve, according to Andrews.


This is an industry where it’s a game of skill, and so your VIPs are the ones with the least amount of skill, and your toxic assets are the ones with the most amount of skill,” Andrews said.


I have a feeling like they’re building these terms and conditions to be these ironclad guards against themselves where if you have a dispute, you have already agreed to go to an arbitrator of their choosing to have this adjudicated,” Andrews said. “That’s not fundamentally fair. The regulators need to do their job – regulate.


Other participants on panel were agree with John Gordon´s slogan:


In the end, is more regulation necessary to force companies to be `fair.’ or do we as consumers hold the power to direct change, it’s a bit of both,”


President of Coljuegos recognizes that he was wrong about Casinos, the winner is respect. 

Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments

What more could you expect from someone outside the industry was the title of my last column that caused a stir at all levels of the gaming industry.


Making mistakes is human, Marco Emilio, president of Coljuegos, in a gesture of kindness, publicly acknowledged his mistake and issued a statement apologizing, which I appreciate for the sake of respect for all the actors in this industry and the good name of those of us who are part of it.


Any stumbling block occurs in life, and this is a good time for us to be heard and the wheels of Coljuegos to be put in motion so that the approval of the impounded procedures is accelerated, which since the entry into the entity of Marco Emilio It was promised by the legal department and that deadline of October 26, 2023, was left in limbo.


ACTA NON VERBA, of course I am not being pedantic, but that you have understood that the industry does not live on chance and lotteries alone, gives it a more equitable approach in proceeding and I hope that you listen to both operators and manufacturers of casino machines, that we are stranded by laziness in attention.


The past two weeks I received several messages constraining me to retract my comments, which not only restricts freedom of expression, but also demonstrates the lack of character of those who servilely believe that for the benefit of all we must endure... respect we all deserve since there are no people more or less than others; Remember we are all pushing forward in the Games of Luck and Chance industry.


Once again, the winner is respect.

Sports betting the worst has already begun 

Latin-Americans countries must adapt themselves to changes, in order to fight back the enrichment of criminals by gambling’s establishments

Sports betting, suspended soccer players and teams, rigged championships, scandals the order of the day are the daily news lately. In Chile and other countries in the world, the sponsorship of teams by betting houses is distrusted, because it is not entirely unusual to think that some ally with each other and end up favoring a particular bet.


In Europe, especially in Spain, match-fixing is fought by small clubs that have been discovered and where one or two players have finally been personally punished, which is not a deterrent to prevent Premier League matches from being fixed. league.


For its part, the Bundesliga is doing everything in its power and knowledge to closely follow the matches, with a very restricted regulation of sports betting but which does not guarantee full transparency of the results.


But not only he soccer; A few weeks ago, tennis player Younes Rachidi was banned for life for allowing himself to be beaten at will and collecting betting dividends. Bárbara Gatica Avilés Chilean tennis player suspended 3 years; Premier League top scorer Ivan Toney is facing a ban for illegal betting… and the list goes on. In Colombia we are not the exception and Llaneros has been accused of a shameless arrangement to favor a result.


In a column published by Dr. Hernán Peláez, he commented: Thank goodness here, Coljuegos gives a license to betting houses. But I don't know if it monitors the exercise and the yields of these operations and health aid are publicly known —and should be— and education. Or does anyone know? to get out of my ignorance.


I answer: if Coljuegos does financial monitoring BUT it is time for Coljuegos to start a crusade in pursuit of Fair Play and be the guarantor of fair play and prevent soccer from being used to launder money through betting; His function, among others, is control, not just the collection of money; he has to see where he comes from, and that is the task he must take on.


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