Approach to sports betting in South America, Gambling platform regulations, Bookmakers legal status

Approach To Sports Betting in South America Guide

5 August 2021

Sports betting is a form of gambling and that is why it is illegal to enjoy it in many countries. Sports betting has become a major phenomenon across the globe and South America is not an exception, with the different gambling laws being applied according to each individual country.

Approach To Sports Betting in South America

Sports Betting in South America

The legal status of sports betting varies from country to country and while some of them have quite liberal regulations concerning sports betting, others might punish citizens for betting activities. In some countries it is allowed to use betting platforms like LV BET while in others their operation is forbidden – see

Whether sports betting is legal or not, it still exists and official figures of the revenues from such activities show that in South America, for instance, more than US$ 2 billion are spent per year only on soccer bets (not including other types of sports).

The size of the market reveals that expanding the business in this part of the world for bookmakers is beneficial and the reason is that citizens of Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile are among the biggest spenders on sports betting and most of them are soccer fans.

What are the approaches in some of the South American countries?


Country legalized sports betting in December 2018 so it was not long ago. Previously, only online casinos and poker rooms were available for the bettors. The main reason for lifting the prohibition was to provide a source of additional revenue for the government as well as to boost the tourism industry.

Brazilian law in force since June 2019 allows fixed-rate online sports betting, as well as online casinos and poker rooms.

One thing should be noted that legalization was not complete because organizers are obliged to pay a 16% levy on sports betting revenue, with further 2% going to local sport associations .

The Ministry of Tourism has opened a line for foreign companies who are interested in getting a permit to operate within the Brazilian market.

The license should be obtained by 2022.

Brazilian citizens are quite eager to bet on sports and companies like LVbet are ready to provide them the opportunity to do so by launching an online betting platform for them.


Sports betting is legal but there are some serious limitations involved.  The state of Argentina sports betting is similar to the US before the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Horse racing has special treatment and is legal in the whole country while other sports are legal almost only in the Buenos Aires region.

Betting on political events is forbidden and betting on sports apart from horse racing outside Buenos Aires is banned as well. Revenue from taxes collected from online and in-site bookmakers go to certain sports that people bet on to fuel their growth.


Sports betting became legal around 25 years ago and online one about 10 years. Sports betting in this country is thriving and it is evident by the fact that in 2018 it generated more than US$ 1 billion. It is expected to earn even more this year and reach a record of about US$ 2 billion.

Peru also realizes that it collects too many taxes from companies operating within their territory so there is a plan to reduce duties on online gaming business as soon as possible. On the contrary to Argentina there are no restrictions concerning which sports people can and cannot bet and where.


In this country sports betting is legal and thriving.

Chile legalized gambling a long time ago and it was possible because it allowed horse racing which had special treatment but other types of gambling were forbidden. Betting on horses, dog racing, and other events was fully legalized in the early 90s.

Bankpaso, Totobet and other online sportsbooks are popular among bettors from Chile because of affordable prices and variety of betting opportunities.


In-site sports betting has been legal since 2001 and online from 2016 but there is blacklist with more than three hundred online bookmaking operators including Jackpot City, Betway and William Hill.

The reason is that operators are hiding the identity of their owners from the authorities so there are serious suspicions that they are connected to organized crime. There were some reports about corruption in Colombian sports bodies and it may be possible involvement of bookmakers on both sides as well as match fixing.

They softened this regulations in 2017 and let international companies operate locally


Since 2009 sports betting has been legal in this country and there are two online casinos available as well as some land-based ones. Betting is done on horse races, soccer, baseball, football, basketball and other events and it has a very significant market share within the country. People who wish to bet on sports in Ecuador have more than three hundred options to choose from.

Ecuador charges 15% tax on profits and is not particularly strict when it comes to regulation of operations so getting a license is rather easy


Sports betting became legal for nationals only in 2013, but foreigners can place up to US$ 2500 per month on sports events. Online betting and online casinos are not regulated in this country but there is a plan to change that very soon.

Banco Repblica allows Uruguayan online casino live kazino operators to collect taxes on bets placed in the country and they should pay US$ 0.5 per bet they receive from gamblers except for virtual sports.

Approach To Sports Betting in South America Conclusion

The law is in fact different in every country and it means that you should do your homework before starting to bet because if you don’t, you may end up in jail. If there is a case of corruption or something else that involves betting on sports, online bookmakers are usually the first one who gets punished.

It also means that it is unrealistic to expect uniform laws about this matter throughout the whole South America since it is rather impossible task to achieve

It seems that this region follows the trend set by US and EU regulators a few years ago when they realized that there were not serious consequences for companies who are involved in sports betting, online casino games or poker if they are regulated properly. This was the main reason why industry experts predicted that South American countries will soften their restriction one by one in the matter of years.

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