The lottery industry is, like many others, an ever-evolving one. New technologies are being embraced, new friendships are being formed, and new games are coming into operation. These points are all applicable in Latin America, where a number of countries are witnessing change and transition as the sector continues to grow.
That’s despite the conspicuous absence of most of these countries on the Global Lottery Monitoring System website, which lists LaBanca and Polla Chilena as its only Latin American members. This was a point addressed by Ludovici Calvi, GLMS President, back in November 2019.
Speaking at the 17th CIBELAE Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica, Calvi urged lotteries in Latin America to join the GLMS ‘family’ and help to safeguard the integrity and core values of sport from corruption.
Calvi’s plea appears to have fallen on deaf, disinterested, or unperturbed ears. Nevertheless, the lottery market in Latin America has made impressive progress in the last few years and, specifically, in 2022.
NeoGames recently joined the Brazilian ilottery market via an agreement with Intralot do Brazil, the operator for Loteria Mineira. Entering Minas Gerais, the country’s second-largest state, NeoGames has pledged to provide a selection of instant games tailored for a Brazilian audience.
Explaining the rationale behind the deal, NeoGames, CEO, Moti Malul, noted: “By early next year, we will provide online lottery and sports betting players in Minas Gerais with an exceptional online gaming experience. We hope to serve as a strong partner to Intralot do Brasil in helping them achieve continued success in Minas Gerais, while simultaneously supporting our near and long-term objectives in Brazil and throughout Latin America.”
Important movements have also been made in Argentina, particularly in the province of Córdoba. Back in May, Lotería de Córdoba – the local lottery – outlined its plans to award ten operator permits, following the regulation of online gambling in the province. This kick-started a bidding process that culminated in an announcement in September. The surprise here, though, was that only eight candidates were chosen by Lotería de Córdoba to receive online gaming licences.
Betway and Picapertor Online’s joint application was rejected because the companies did not comply with the exclusionary requirement of presenting the original documents and copies in Spanish, since, according to the original resolution, the presentation was made ‘in draft format with observations and in English’. Biyemas and SkillOnNet were also eliminated from the process.
According to Councillor Juan Pablo Quinteros, Córdoba could generate around $112m a year from online gaming, providing vital funds for the province.
Meanwhile, in Chile, tax concerns have slowed down the implementation of an online gambling bill which had previously appeared to be hurtling towards a final conclusion.
There had been optimism that a federally regulated online gambling regime would be in order by 2023; the Chilean Ministry of Finance had even agreed to vote on the bill at the end of this year.
However, while stating her support for the gambling bill, Undersecretary of Finance Claudia Sanhueza noted “visible flaws” in the tax framework provided by the Ministry.
Its failure to explain how Chile’s local and commercial taxes would be applied to international operators, who should be subject to equal tax terms as domestic incumbents, was cited as a factor in the requirement for a review to be led by an Economic Commission for Chile’s Chamber of Deputies.
As a result, any of the previously earmarked dates now appear highly unlikely as the issues look set to carry on into the new year.
There has been positive news in Ecuador, though, after its National Lottery signed a 10-year deal with Scientific Games to secure the supply of instant games, lottery systems, retail technology and the country’s first electronic draw game.
This agreement forms part of plans to refresh the Ecuador National Lottery and its portfolio of games, with the aim of raising extra funds for the non-profit organisation Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil, which focuses on health, education and social protection.
The group is aiming to expand its social and charitable work to all corners of Ecuador in favour of people in conditions of vulnerability and extreme poverty.
Jorge Medina, General Manager of Lotería Nacional de Ecuador, said: “We are very pleased to extend our excellent relationship with Scientific Games through an instant game contract that includes new technology and enables us to launch a new mode of instant and draw-based lottery games for the enjoyment of our players, and ultimately generate more funds to support our causes in Ecuador.”
Teaming up with Canada, El Salvador approved an Economic Agreement in July to launch a national electronic lottery, the Lotería Electrónica Nacional.
The lottery will be jointly operated by Canada, but the premise behind the agreement for El Salvador is to raise additional funds to support municipalities and invest in the execution of health and education programmes.
Pertinently, the Lotería Electrónica Nacional will not bear any costs to El Salvador, as the Canadian Commercial Corporation will be in charge of both the implementation and the operation of the new service.
Deputy and President of the Foreign Relations Committee, Ana Figueroa, has outlined her belief that this agreement allows El Salvador to reaffirm its diplomatic ties while also allowing the country to expand in the technology field.
Figueroa noted: “This agreement aims to improve the areas of health and education in both countries.”
Ten per cent of the Lotería Electrónica Nacional’s total revenue will be directed to the municipalities to carry out activities in favour of their residents, while another 10 per cent will go to lottery vendors, to be distributed to strengthen operations from public institutions.
The rest of the proceeds are to be used for public health, education and social assistance projects.