Ecuador Market Report

Updated 31 July, 2023

Ecuador is a small but diverse country in South America, with a population of around 18.3 million and a GDP of $115 billion in 2022.
It is also a potential market for iGaming, with a high internet penetration rate of 81.3% and a growing demand for online entertainment and sports betting.
Ecuador's iGaming landscape

However, the legal status of iGaming in Ecuador is unclear and uncertain, as the country has not yet established a clear regulatory framework for online gambling. In fact, most forms of gambling are prohibited in Ecuador, with the exception of state lotteries and horse racing. This ban was introduced in 2011, following a referendum in which 45% of voters supported a ban on casinos and slot machines.

Therefore, the current situation of iGaming in Ecuador is one of ambiguity and risk, as there is no official licence or authorisation for online gambling operators or providers. This means that any company wishing to offer iGaming services in Ecuador must operate in a grey market without any legal protection or guarantees. They also face the challenge of competing with illegal and unregulated operators who may offer lower prices, higher bonuses or more attractive games.

Despite these difficulties, some iGaming software developers have decided to enter the Ecuadorian market, hoping to take advantage of the untapped potential and the growing popularity of online gaming and betting among Ecuadorian consumers. Some examples are Betsson Group, Playtech and Evolution Gaming, who have partnered with local companies or media groups to offer their products and services to Ecuadorian players.
Latest news from Ecuador

The situation of online gambling in Ecuador may soon change, as the current government of Guillermo Lasso has expressed its intention to legalise and regulate the sector. In June 2021, the Ministry of Tourism announced that it was working on a bill that would allow online gambling operators to obtain licences and pay taxes in Ecuador. The bill would also create a regulatory body to oversee the industry and protect consumers.

The Ministry of Tourism stated that legalising online gambling would benefit the country's economy by creating new jobs, attracting foreign investment and increasing tax revenues. The Ministry also claimed that the regulation would help combat illegal gambling and money laundering activities, as well as prevent problem gambling and addiction.
Is it worth starting a gambling business in Ecuador in 2023?

The potential legalisation of online gambling in Ecuador opens up new opportunities for operators and software providers looking to enter this emerging market.

Some of the advantages of setting up a gambling business in Ecuador are:

  • A large and untapped market: Ecuador has a population of almost 18 million people, with a high internet penetration rate of 79% and a growing smartphone penetration rate of 58%. In addition, Ecuadorians have a strong interest in gambling, especially sports betting and casino games.

  • Favourable regulatory environment: The proposed online gambling bill would create a clear and transparent legal framework for operators and software providers wishing to obtain licences and operate in Ecuador. The bill would also set reasonable tax rates and fees for the industry and provide incentives for innovation and social responsibility.

  • A competitive advantage: The legalisation of online gambling would give an advantage to operators and software providers who enter the market early and establish their brand recognition and customer loyalty. The market is currently dominated by offshore operators who may find it difficult to adapt to new regulations and comply with local requirements.

Some of the disadvantages of starting a gambling business in Ecuador are:

  • Complex cultural diversity: Ecuador has a diverse and multicultural society, with different preferences and expectations from different regions and ethnic groups. Operators and software providers wishing to succeed in this market must understand the local culture and offer products and services that cater to the specific needs and tastes of each segment.

  • High level of competition: The legalization of online gambling would attract many operators and software providers looking to enter or expand their presence in Latin America. The market would become more crowded and competitive, requiring greater investment in marketing, technology, customer service and innovation.

Ecuador is a market with great potential, but also with great challenges for service providers. The lack of a clear and stable regulatory framework creates uncertainty and risk.

We also recommend partnering with a reliable and experienced software company like ours that can help design and develop custom solutions, even in complex licensing environments. By the way, you can easily reach us via WhatsApp.
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