This past September, gambling industry experts and representatives gathered in London for the Betting on Sports conference to talk about the overall state of affairs of the global market. On hand for the important meeting was the CEO of TV Global Enterprises Limited, and Betcris, JD Duarte, who keyed on the major differences between the two hottest sports gambling markets today – Europe and Latin America (LatAm).

Duarte has a strong background in the industry, having spent a number of years in business development roles starting in 2004. That experience, combined with the major leverage Betcris was building, was enough to envision a major opportunity in LatAm, which the company has successfully realized.

The executive said during the conference, “I started doing business development for sports betting back in 2004, specifically in Latin America. It was a great opportunity at the time, we were the first to arrive in many markets. We were able to set up business in a number of countries, and become the first operator to educate the market on how sports betting works, and sell it as a form of entertainment. Now, many years later, people know BetCris and trust the brand. The credibility is there, which has really helped.”

While Europe may have already had a more mature sports gambling ecosystem, LatAm wasn’t designed to model its activity based on that success. Duarte explains, “There are a lot of differences between Europe and LatAm. I would say that the first thing that comes to mind is the maturity of the market when it comes to the players. Sports betting is still new, it’s not as widespread across the Latin American countries. You will find a large number of people who might not know what sports betting is, or how it works.”

There are also differences in player value – what one expects to get from a player in LatAm is different than what one would expect in Europe. This comes down to cultural differences and the types of sports that are followed. In Europe, with its more robust sports scene, placing wagers is constantly found in soccer, basketball, handball and more; in LatAm, however, almost all the activity is limited to soccer. This will change as the activity becomes more familiar and is adopted by more countries.

Duarte added, “But at the minute, Brazil is the most interesting country right now. At the moment, they’re talking about regulation. It is supposed to be in place before the year is over. We’re talking about 200 million people who are super passionate about sports, and in particular about football. So, it will be very interesting to see what happens there.”