Calvin Ayre – Its no secret that there is a lot of opportunity in Latin America for businesses, especially digital businesses and of course this includes online gambling. When we discuss opportunities in Latin America at conferences or around the water cooler, we tend to focus on Brazil, or Panama or sometimes Columbia and Chile, but we rarely hear about the potential in Mexico.
What strikes me as most interesting about this region is that the opportunity is there right now, not “at some point” or “maybe later this year” as it is in Brazil and in 47 states in America, for example. It seems to me that Mexico could be considered low hanging fruit for online gambling companies, in particular those that get there now before the rest discover the promise of the region.
What also strikes me as interesting is that it’s a challenge to obtain information about the online gambling market in Mexico using the usual online channels where our industry gets its news and information. To an effort to gather some intelligence on the region, I spoke directly with the experts and this elite list includes Alfredo G. Lazcano Samano of Lazcano Samano, S.C., David Leppo of betmex.net, Vicenc Marti, Akamon Entertainment and Cristina Romero of Loyra Abogados.
Marti and Romero both made the point that Mexico should not be lumped in with a general “LatAm” strategy as it’s a country in itself and quite different from the other countries within Latin America. Something that truly stands out about Mexico is that, as Romero puts it, “its absolutely the ‘door to the USA’ and, let’s not forget, is a part of the NAFTA agreement that may spur international investors and, who knows, agreements with USA and Canada operators in the future and even shared liquidity”.
Now that’s some interesting food for thought. Aside from its proximity to the US, Mexico’s economy is getting stronger and its growing- as Leppo pointed out, there is no credit crunch, labor is cheap, they have natural resources and the list goes on. According to eMarketer.com, the number of online consumers in Mexico will increase by 114% by 2018 to 18 million, a statistic that illuminates the massive potential that is developing in Mexico as we speak.
While we can see that the future is bright for the online gambling industry in Mexico, lets shift our focus to the lush opportunities in this region that are available for operators today.