News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Oct. 2, 2019: Online gaming has grown exponentially worldwide. Whether it’s
eSports, MMORPG or iGaming, Latin America is experiencing significant growth in
these markets. In Brazil, for example, where the nation’s first love is soccer,
eSports has emerged as its chief
competition. Last year, according to data released by Newzoo, nearly 30% of
the world played video games (via smartphones, PC and console), spending in the
process, $137.9 billion.
One of the fastest-growing
markets is in Latin America, in 2018, the region saw gaming increase by
13.5% compared to the previous year. The expectation is that, with Mexico,
Argentina, and Brazil leading the way, the market will rise by another 50%
within the next three years. The digital revolution has a lot to do with
the region’s increasing love affair with gaming. Only 22% of Latin Americans in
2008 had internet access. That figure was 56% in 2018. Projections in 2019 are
expected to see that rise to over 60%.
That has meant more smartphones in circulation as a result
of a rise in disposable income per capita. The mobile gaming applications
market has witnessed exponential proliferation, particularly impacting the
iGaming sector with a huge increase in players. Despite Colombia having
the only fully-regulated online gaming market, Latin America has a rich history
of gambling making this market fertile ground.
Competition amongst platforms has seen attractive offers
and bonuses such as free spins on
video slots put consumers in charge of when and where they choose to play. The
region’s technological development in recent years presents gaming platforms
with a huge customer base. Indeed, there are more potential gamers in Mexico
and Brazil than there are in either Germany or the UK. And it helps that
providers can target a region that predominantly speaks one of two languages
(Spanish and Portuguese).
This has had a knock-on effect on the digital economy.
Indigenous developers have risen with recent data from Brazil Games
representatives saying there are 375 game-making software developers in Brazil
alone. In 2017, they produced over 1700
The eSports sector has similarly flourished. Brazil’s 21.2
million fans rank the country third in the world. Mexico is tenth on the
list (with 4.5 million fans) while Argentina ranks 19th. This has witnessed
broadcasters begin to seek the rights to televise events with Mediapro, a
Spanish-language broadcaster, commercializing the rights to the Copa
Latinoamérica Sur Clausura, one of the region’s top eSports tournaments.
The online gaming economy has also been boosted by an
increase in popularity for casino games like poker. Access to faster internet
speeds has obviously enabled data-heavy console and PC games to grow but its
combination with affordable mobile devices has made poker an attractive and
convenient online game. Economic
growth – particularly in Brazil – has given people more disposable income
to gamble with and the cash to invest in the technology to play. Poker player
Felipe Ramos’ notoriety as a sporting celebrity has also contributed to the
Online gaming in Latin America has been growing for several
years and shows no signs of slowing. Whether it’s eSports or a live casino
game, the region’s social and economic development is conspiring to support
these markets’ continued growth in the next few years.