LATAM: Why Latin America is the lottery world’s biggest prize

LATAM: Why Latin America is the lottery world’s biggest prize

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Luis Gama will discuss the continued rise of Latin America's lottery industry at Juegos Miami

Improved technology, a renewed professionalism and co-operation with the state have been key to Latin America becoming the fastest-growing lottery sector in the world, according to the head of the region’s main industry body.

Luis Gama, president of CIBELAE, said there are a number of reasons for the rise in sales and revenue in Latin American lotteries in recent years, but noted that success should also be considered in terms of the sector’s operational integrity and the benefits it brings to public finances.

Gama, who will discuss the sector along with other industry leaders in a session at this month’s Juegos Miami event, was speaking after results released by the World Lottery Association (WLA) showed that Latin American lottery sales grew by just short of 20 per cent in 2015, a bigger rise than any other region.

“In comparison with other regions, Latin America is the one that has grown more in recent years,” Gama said. “Regardless of these results, I believe the region has enormous potential as there are forms of exploitation that are still in the process of development and are just now beginning to be addressed, such as online games.

“The lottery sector in the region is growing not only based on economic results, but the development of policies aimed at achieving regulations consistent with the reality of the sector. The authorities of each of our lotteries are demonstrating their intention to achieve true professionalism in the industry and thus address the issues that concern our countries today.”

The lottery sector is likely to come under pressure from other forms of gambling in the coming years, with verticals like sports betting set to be legalised in countries such as Brazil. However, Brazil’s national lottery looks well placed to retain its position, with Caixa Econômica Federal growing by more than 10 per cent year-on-year in 2015, perhaps thanks to the publicity that surrounded Mega-Sena paying out its biggest ever jackpot of $75.0m (€66.1m) at the end of 2014.

Argentina’s Lotería Nacional Sociedad del Estado was the strongest performer in the region during 2015, reporting an increase in sales of 26 per cent, while Chile's Polla Chilena was up more than 15 per cent thanks to very strong first-half sales of their flagship Lotto product. 

Overall, Latin America’s lottery sales were up 19 per cent in 2015, compared to eight per cent in North America and three per cent in Africa. The sector grew by a little more than one per cent in Europe, but actually fell in Asia-Pacific, perhaps highlighting just how important Latin America is set to be for global lottery operators.

Tiburcio Perdomo, commercial director of Loteria Nacional in the Dominican Republic and also regional executive director at CIBELAE, believes that the size of the region means the sector could soar, and considered just what effect multijurisdictional operations could achieve.

Perdomo, who will also take part in the lottery sector session at Juegos Miami, said: “The key for lotteries development in Latin America is going to be the technological advances of the sector. The improvement of the multijurisdictional gaming business will also be important to take advantage of the emerging LATAM market, which has a population of 600 million. CIBELAE is working very hard in this way.

“For me, I think that multijurisdictional gaming business would put lotteries together and would obtain an amazing return on investment.”

- Juegos Miami takes place at The Biltmore, Coral Gables from May 31 to June 3. For more information, visit www.juegosmiami.com. To apply for your invitation* visit www.juegosmiami.com to find out more, and follow @JuegosMiami on Twitter and visit the event’s Facebook page for further information and the latest updates. Attendance at Juegos Miami will be limited to senior decision makers (owner, director, C-Level exec) from operating companies (private and public including state lotteries), government and regulators from the Latin America and Caribbean region.

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