Playtech, a leading developer of gaming software, plans to expand into Mexico. The company already has a deal with a local operator to have a number of Playtech’s self-service betting terminals installed across the country.
Mexico’s approach to gambling
Mexico is an interesting market when it comes to gambling. Mexicans are passionate about gambling, but there are some strict restrictions in place.
The economy of the country has been getting better in recent years, which means that a lot more people have disposable income to spend on gambling. The country has the second largest gambling sector in Latin America, and its annual gambling revenues are in the region of $10bn (£7.6bn) annually, behind only Argentina.
For many years, gambling was illegal in Mexico. It was not until recently that licensed casinos were allowed. However, just because it was illegal did not stop people from engaging in many types of gambling from cockfighting to horse racing and scratch cards.
In 2004, the gambling laws of 1947 were altered to allow people to engage in gambling activities, not just when they were in Secretariat of the Interior facilities. This law change led to a lot of investor money coming into the country.
Casinos were licensed and the state receives tax revenue from their earnings. While there are tight controls on who can obtain casino licenses, most of these licensed casinos are operated by private companies and can compare to some of the big Las Vegas casinos.
There is now a movement to legalize online betting in the country. Online casinos are not yet legal, and those who use them in Mexico are involved in a risky business because there are no consumer protections in place. There have been calls in recent times for a change in this approach and legalization is expected in the near future.
Playtech in Mexico
The Mexico gambling market is clearly lucrative, especially if online gambling is legalized soon, as expected. Legalization would bring a massive influx of overseas online gambling operators trying to get a slice of the market. It appears that Playtech is thinking ahead and trying to get established in advance of new legislation.
The company has signed a deal with Corporación Caliente, a local operator. As a result, Playtech’s self-service betting terminals (SSBTs) will be introduced across the country
Playtech previously dealt with this operator in 2014 with the loan of some casino systems. The new deal is certainly an interesting arrangement that seems likely to expand as time goes on. Talking about the agreement, the corporation’s business development director, Victor De La Fuente, said: “This is an exciting moment for Corporación Caliente as we further develop the experience we offer those who visit our casinos.”
The SSBTs are going to play an important role in how the relationship expands, in both retail and online settings. More casinos in the region are expected to add these machines to their offerings in the following few months.
Corporación Caliente is parented by Codere, a gambling company based in Spain. It already has an agreement with NetEnt, which was confirmed in 2017. The company is almost certainly planning to expand into the Mexican market by diversifying relationships with leading gaming software developers.
Benefits for Playtech
Playtech is getting into the Mexican market early. Its CEO, Armin Sageder, talked about the opportunities the company sees in the country, saying: “Mexico is a fast-growing and regulated market and a strategically important territory for Playtech.”
Playtech was founded in 1999 and has become one of the biggest online gambling software providers in the world. Its stock is traded on the London Stock Exchange. The company’s SSBTs can be found in many global markets, including Greece, Malta, Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany.
It is expected that Playtech will continue its expansion efforts both in Europe and Latin America. In the past year, its retail bet entry points increased by more than 48%, bringing the total to 40,000 different live terminals around the world.