Igaming, if you’re not already familiar with it, refers to any type of online betting on the future outcome of a game or other event. Sports betting, online casino gaming, poker and esports all come are all classed as igaming. The term “gaming” by itself in this context refers simply to forms of gambling in a brick-and-mortar location or establishment.
Igaming is a form of leisure to which Mexico is beginning to warm. As a result, it represents a huge opportunity for online poker UK operators looking to expand into other markets, as well as operators of other iGaming services. Below is a look at the growth of igaming in the Mexican market, some of the reasons why it’s become so popular and whether it will continue to grow in the future. There will also be some discussion of laws in Mexico when it comes to igaming.
The growth of iGaming in Mexico
Mexico boasts one of the strongest economies in Latin America, and the nation is seeing a real growth in igaming.
The Mexican igaming market is mostly segmented into online casino gaming and sports betting. Like many other nations, Mexicans have a real passion for soccer, which makes betting on soccer matches a popular way of engaging in sports betting.
Baseball, whether Major League or Mexican Baseball League, is immensely popular and also harvests a lot of attention from sports betting fans. Surprisingly, American football, too, is another sport that has captured the hearts of many Mexicans, who happily follow the action on the NFL’s grids and indulge in a few bets and maybe sip a beer or two together over it all.
Meanwhile, online casinos in Mexico provide more or less the same games as you might expect to find in an international online casino. Localization has been an important element in the success of operators who have managed to crack the Mexican market as the nation’s players are showing a preference for more Hispanic themes such as the Incas, All Souls Day and piñata themed games. Slots are the most popular type of game, but blackjack is also very popular. Live casino gaming, especially roulette and blackjack, enjoy popularity as well.
Why the explosion in popularity?
Localization has been one key factor, as mentioned, but another has been the mobile-first design of the games so that they render well on mobile devices. The nation is growing increasingly internet and tech savvy, giving operators the chance to tailor their offering to the market and meet the requirements of players. Mexicans want to play on the go, just like punters in many other countries, and operators are giving them that opportunity.
Quality is a major factor in engaging players. As the economy grows, technology is also advancing, and operators are able to work with specialist companies that will enable them to deliver the quality players demand. This keeps the players coming back and will continue to do so.
Legislation around igaming in Mexico
Some might consider igaming to be something of a grey area in Mexico. The activity isn’t expressed controlled under federal laws of 1974, but some consider igaming legal under laws from 2004.
Any operator that wants to serve the Mexican market must obtain a license from the Mexican government, but business-to-business suppliers aren’t subject to licensing conditions. The operator must also pay 30% of their gross gambling yield revenue in tax. Globally licensed operators, however, can get around this and not request a license or pay any tax because there are no laws preventing them from accepting Mexican players.
Will the Mexican grow even further?
The Mexican market oozes potential growth, and international operators are desperate to break into it. Some have already entered the Latin American market, gaining a foothold in countries such as Brazil, so being able to expand into Mexico is only a matter of time.
Despite all the popularity igaming is experiencing as an activity in Mexico, Mexican operators still have a lot of work to do if they want to witness success beyond their very wildest dreams. Budgets are an issue. The knowledge to build exposure of their brands to potential players and generate awareness of them is another. Above-the-line advertising will only achieve so much, so what brands really need to do is harness the power of social media to become relevant and let the world know they’re out there. Otherwise, international brands with more resources can step in and star helping themselves to smaller brands’ share of the market.
What’s very clear is that igaming in Mexico is popular and spoils anyone who wants to enter this market with opportunities. Marketing savvy and expertise are highly beneficial, but so is the ability to localize games and make them appealing to Mexican players, who have displayed a preference for Hispanic themes in gaming. The igaming iron is hot and it’s time for operators to strike!