Online Gambling Industry In Mexico: Current and Future Status

In recent years, the online gambling business has become very popular. Many people who were not familiar with online gambling have been becoming interested in this activity thanks to the proliferation of multiple companies that offer a wide variety in the game catalog, various incentives such as; bonuses, personalized customer service, free registration to tournaments and ease of payment processes, among others.

Introduction

This is a specific diagnosis on the current conditions of the national market for digital bets in categories of interest such as: finance, business, legal, demographic, cultural, etc. Likewise, during the document the promoters of business trends and areas of growth opportunity that will define the future of the sector will be exposed.

The report is complemented with statistics and data from other Latin American countries to examine Mexico's position in the region. Additionally, an analysis of the subsequent effects of the pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus was incorporated. 

Finally, the whitepaper compiled useful information for companies whose area of ​​action is related to the remote gambling business or for academic or journalistic research agents who seek to delve into the subject for future texts or content. related. 

Mexico, a digital diamond in the rough 

The Mexican online gaming sector employs more than 35,000 people directly and another 105,000 indirectly. Seven years ago the international consultancy, H2 Gambling Capital, stated that Mexico would be the Latin American market that would grow the fastest in the short term  and for the period from 2009 to 2019, within the online betting format, Mexico saw growth of 1,000%.

According to 6wResearch, the Mexican gambling industry is expected to reach a growth rate of 33% during the 2020-2026 period . Although the 6wResearch benchmark spans physical and digital casinos alike, the market research firm noted that: “The increasing adoption of smartphones and increasing internet penetration provides easy access to online platforms   is what will drive this business".

No other event has caused the population to get even closer to their cell phone or connected mobile devices like the pandemic. In data from the 17th Study on the Habits of Internet Users in Mexico 2021, the Internet Association MX noted that during 2020 and as a consequence of the confinement, Internet users had the highest growth observed in the last five years.

According to the Internet MX Association in Mexico, there are 86.8 million Internet users , which represents 76.3% of the population aged six and over. The increase in internet users took an impressive jump of 10.2% in 2020. These statistics should be considered as an important stimulator of the consumption of digital casinos and online entertainment.

Industry players 

The only authority empowered to issue a gambling permit is the General Directorate of Games and Raffles of the Ministry of the Interior . In Mexico, in addition to the official credentials by SEGOB, some casinos also operate legally with licenses such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.

Comparison with other Latin American countries

In one of last year's reports, the Vixio Regulatory Intelligence research agency highlighted that the Latin American region is one of the most important emerging markets for the online gaming industry worldwide. The most competitive Latin American nations for online gambling are Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. 

As in the case of Mexico, the population density and accelerated digital adoption in Brazil place it as the country to follow in LATAM. The Ministry of Economy enacted a law in December 2018 for online gambling and although it remains in the early stages of regulation, it is expected to be one of the largest online markets in  the world. It is estimated that Brazilian online operators attract between 6.4 and 12 billion dollars a year.

The Argentine sector generates an approximate of 2.4 billion dollars a year . However, the legislation on online gambling is still not entirely clear and users have to resort mostly to foreign sites. Just a few months ago, Argentina's Minister of Economy and Public Finance incorporated a law amendment to raise the digital gambling tax from 2 to 5%.

But the most exemplary case is that of Colombia, since it is the only country in the region to have a fully regulated legal framework for online gambling and that has brought them benefits. According to the latest figures, since the regulation of online gambling began   in 2016, the market went from a turnover of 24 million dollars to 441 million dollars in 2018 (increased 1,533%) and reached 798 million dollars in December of 2019, which represents an increase of 2908% .

Competitiveness indicators

In Mexico, users can choose between several international web platforms and registered local operators. The offer of online casinos mainly comprises sports bets that occupy 60%, while traditional games, such as blackjack, poker, lottery or slots occupy the remaining 40%.

The consulting firm Mordor Intelligence found that the introduction of innovation and quality in content to improve the user experience has emerged as a key strategy in the national sector. For this, the dominant players have established collaboration agreements with iGaming firms   that allow them to modernize their digital architecture and increase their catalog of titles. 

In addition, another Mordor Intelligence finding is that companies use digital and social media more frequently to promote their offerings; They highlight a considerable increase in investment in research and development, advertising and marketing. 

In the same way, there is an emphasis that by adding cybersecurity tools and considering the protection of personal or banking data as a priority, confidence in the field of digital gambling increases more and more. Consumption is directly related to the level of security transparency that each page presents. 

It should also be noted that operators have remained competitive thanks to the variety in the presentation of titles:

  • Slots
  • Jackpots 
  • Poker
  • Black Jack
  • Texas
  • Lonely
  • Baccarat 
  • Roulette
  • Dices
  • Lottery
  • Live Casino 
  • Live lottery
  • Scratch
  • I said no
  • Bingo 
  • Virtuals

Only in Strendus in the last two years they have closed agreements with important iGaming leaders such as: Microgaming, Ainsworth, EGaming, Microgaming, Evolution, Gaming 1 × 2, BetGames, LIW, among others, going from having a catalog of 2,400 to more than 4,000 games including all those mentioned in the previous list. 

The platform highlights that the most popular titles in the Lottery vertical are: Game, Incan Adventure, Lucky Leprechaun Scratch, Mega Ball, Crazy Time, First Person Mega Ball, Dice Duel, Avalon Scratch, Gems Odyssey, Lucky Six 35/48 and Aureus. 

And in the Slots and Casinos section: Royal Diamonds Ancient Fortunes: Zeus, 9 Lions, Extra Chilli, Ladies Nite, Wild Mustang, Crystal Hot, Black Pearl, Vegas Single Deck BlackJack and Baccarat. 

Future challenges 

In the book  Of luck, gambling, and other azares , published by the Department of Applied Research and Opinion of the Institute of Legal Research at UNAM, it was revealed that in the recreational practice of the population of 100% of respondents only 0.3 % responded that online gambling was a recurring activity.

That said, and after the digital explosion that caused the pandemic, online casinos have the task of staying interesting in the face of other online entertainment media  . Now that the population has acquired new browsing habits, the goal is for potential customers to consider remote gambling as part of their regular entertainment routine.

On the other hand, when exploring the successful case of Colombia, the private sector could push through lobbying to draft a legal framework that responds to growing needs. Especially after verifying that international interactive software development or technology companies have an interest in collaborating with regulated operators. 

Final thoughts

Mexico has the population density, technological adaptation and competitive protagonists that indicate that the industry is prepared to continue growing. The change in the lifestyle of citizens should be highlighted as a positive informer since it opens the possibility of increasing engagement  with the generations more familiar with technology. 

As previously noted, it is necessary for the sector to continue on the path of modernization: mainly in the sense of providing games or proposals that stimulate the interest of different audiences. Although it is too early to define the effectiveness of technology such as virtual reality or payment methods such as cryptocurrencies, the idea that the demand for “futuristic casinos” will be a competitive denominator should not be discarded. 

And the issue of regulation will undoubtedly be a crucial factor in the years to come. In the  Online Gambling Regulatory Horizon in Latin America 2020 report , he noted that Latin American countries are becoming new nominees for global benchmarks in the online gambling sector as they advance their legal initiatives.

Finally, the coordinated sum of these elements will propitiate a new favorable scenario for the online gambling business. After lockdown, we are likely to find ourselves at the best time to capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves and that may pay off in the future of  online gambling .

Media Courtesy : Isopixel