A trip down Memory Lane: LatAm gaming growth in 2023

December 15, 2023
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Gaming America reviews the region's expansion over the last 12 months.

Global expansion was the name of the game during 2023 for several of the gambling industry’s developers, suppliers and operators. But what stood out this year was a particular focus on growth within the Latin American region, due to rising demands for iGaming and sports betting, as well as the birth of new regulated markets.

Throughout 2023, the LatAm market welcomed more than its fair share of new products and partners.

Gaming America has curated a list of Latin American news highlights for the year.

To kick off 2023, Swedish game provider Lady Luck Games expanded its Latin American reach by signing a strategic agreement with Cbet. The deal brought titles from Lady Luck’s game portfolio including Treasures of Tizoc, Mr. Alchemister, Valholl: Wild Hammers, Beetle Bailey, Astro Anna and SpinJoy Society Megaways to Latin American players.

In addition to Lady Luck’s suite of titles, players across South America could also choose games from the ReelNRG portfolio, which Lady Luck also acquired.

Full house

Early in the year, PlayAGS appointed Robert Ziems to serve as its Chief Legal Officer following Victor Gallo’s retirement. As CLO, Ziems took on the role of leading the company’s Latin American and Interactive business arenas in mid-February.

During the spring, Jose Ignacio "Nacho" Barbero joined Americas Cardroom (ACR) as a Team Pro member, donning the screenname “Travisrice.” Barbero is no stranger to the poker tournament scene, making his debut nearly 14 years ago by winning two Latin American Poker Tour championships in a four-month span during 2010.

He has continued his winning streak by raking in more than $8.4m in live tournament winnings throughout his pro poker career. During last year’s World Series of Poker, Barbero claimed his first bracelet.

"I'm thrilled to join the ACR Team. I'm excited to be representing a site that loves poker as much as I do and puts the players first, Barbero said following his recruitment. “I look forward to the opportunity of introducing ACR into new markets and help grow it even more into a worldwide brand.”

Games galore

Colombian iGamers reaped the benefits of a new partnership in May between Zitro Digital and online casino operator, Sportium Colombia. The deal gave the region access to Zitro Digital’s vast portfolio of video bingo titles, as well as games like Link King and Link Me.

Pragmatic Play also shifted its gaze to Latin America in May by signing a deal with Juegalo.com.

Juegalo is the latest LatAm operator to team up with Pragmatic Play. Players throughout the region can now access games like Gates of Olympus, Sugar Rush, The Knight King and Big Bass – Keeping it Reel. The operator’s player base also gained access to live casino games like Mega Wheel and Sweet Bonanza Candyland as a part of the agreement.

Pragmatic Play went on to continue its LatAm expansion by signing a deal with Pragmatic Starkbet in September and a content agreement with GanaPlay in November.

BetMGM "ecstatic"

This summer brought with it a monumental move in the LatAm region by BetMGM through a partnership with Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort.

The sports betting and iGaming operator was the first to launch a mobile sports betting app in Puerto Rico.

This release marked BetMGM’s second time extending beyond the US mainland market.

Company CEO Adam Greenblatt celebrated the company’s milestone by saying, "BetMGM is ecstatic to become the first operator to deliver mobile sports betting to Puerto Rico.

"This collaboration between local officials and Casino del Mar provides a safe, responsible and entertaining product accessible from anywhere on the island."

Innovation in gaming

During the month of October, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) launched ApuestasArgentinas.com in Argentina, a site designed to give users a “player-first experience.” With the release, players throughout the Argentine region could get in on exclusive bonuses and access reviews on regional sports betting operators.

GiG described the new site as a “fantastic addition” to the company’s portfolio.

To close out the year, Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville released plans in late November to develop an all-inclusive resort in Honduras. The Margaritaville Island Reserve Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras is the latest development in the duo’s Latin American expansion plans.

Margaritaville and Karisma Hotels & Resorts have agreed to collaborate with Island Shipping, S. de R.L. on building the resort. Once completed, it will be home to live outdoor music venues, along with 164 rooms and a 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar. The project is expected to wrap up in 2025.

More to come next year, no doubt.

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