The Ecuadorian gambling laws on the surface seemed to be quite benign to the casino industry with country’s open policy when it came to gambling, sports betting, and all kinds of lotteries.
As a result, many entrepreneurs raced to enter this Latin American market in hopes of doing sustainable business. In reality, this didn’t work out as the Ecaudorian president with a single stroke of a pen decided to close all the casinos in the country.
This is not as surprising given lunatic approach to business taken by many former and current South American governments where companies lost all they had either by losing the right to operate or having their entire properties nationalized.
The government of President Correa reacted in ways similar to those of Cuba’s Castro or Venezuela’s Chavez. No wonder the move left thousands unemployed. The big ego made the man want to prove that he is the one and only, the Czar of the impoverished nation.
Perhaps the casinos made a mistake by failing to grease some greedy political palms in lobbying efforts. Now, it’s too late, the damage has been done.
The recent actions not only affect investments in the casino business. Others investors are looking very carefully before spending a dollar in such politically unstable countries with governments behaving unexpectedly and often irrationally.
An alternative approach to catering to the players is such countries is by offering gambling entertainment via offshore Internet or mobile casinos as then the business is not likely to be confiscated.
Nothing is 100% safe, though, as even respectable countries such as the United States can get an online casino site shot down as the case of Bodog shows.
The internet casino business in Latin America is nowhere as established as that in Europe. However, quickly growing economies of some more stable (still) countries such as Brazil and Chile show encouraging signs for those casino tycoons seeking to take high risks for even higher profits. No pain, no game.