The Future of Sports Betting in Latin America

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 3, 2023: In the big scheme of things, Latin American countries represent a massive market for the online sports betting industry to tap into. For starters, millions of people that live in these regions are rabid sports fans. While mainstream sports like football, basketball, and baseball attract the most attention, Latin American nations also enjoy a vast array of small-market sports such as volleyball, polo, and field hockey.

It helps that internet penetration has increased with about 70% of people in these regions now having access to online casinos, sports betting sites, and new horse racing sites UK and LatAm experts recommend. Perhaps the most major concern is the lack of regulation. However, this problem is being addressed in many regions.

Which Latin American Countries Have Embraced Regulating Sports Betting?

Colombia was among the first South American countries to modernize gambling laws. A 2015 partnership between the government and the state monopoly Coljuegos resulted in online betting companies being allowed to offer their services to Colombians. Of course, operators must pay a 16% tax on their gross earnings which helps finance the nation’s healthcare system. To nobody’s surprise, business is booming. As an aside, Peru appears to be close to doing the same type of thing although the current political situation is slowing progress.

Quite possibly the most successful Latin American sports betting model is the one introduced in Argentina in 2018 and implemented in 2021. They seem to be following the same type of strategy that has been so successful in regions like the United States. Rather than being regulated by the national government, the country’s 23 provincial governments along with the city of Buenos Aries regulate gambling in their respective realms. There are now about 125 registered gambling sites operating in the country.

Of course, we can’t forget about Costa Rica which has been “regulating”, and we use the term loosely, online gambling for decades. The diminutive nation is home to around 450 online gambling sites. However, Costa Ricans are still prohibited by law from participating in most forms of gambling online and on land.

Then there’s Brazil which has banned most forms of gambling since 1946. While they might be a little late to the dance, Brazil recently made a grand entrance by announcing that the country would allow online operators to open shop on its soil. This is quite a coup for online betting companies as they now have access to another 200 million people. It is expected that Brazil’s regulated sports betting market could have an annual worth of more than a billion dollars by 2025.

Other Latin American countries that either have regulated online sports betting or appear to be headed toward a regulatory environment include:








Where is Sports Betting in Latin America Headed?

One of the main driving forces behind regulated online sports betting is money. Pure and simple. Cash-strapped governments are always looking for ways to generate more money, and the online gambling industry is one of the lowest-hanging fruits. One only has to look at the United States which had some of the strictest anti-online gambling laws in the world until it suddenly and unexpectedly changed direction a few years ago. Those revenues are simply too hard to pass up even if online sports betting comes with certain downsides.

The future of legal online sports betting in Latin America is bright. With over 420 million people in South America alone, betting companies are licking their lips at the prospect of entering the market. As you have seen, many Latin American governments have already embraced those companies and the revenues that they bring with them. It’s a good bet to say that other Latin American countries will inevitably follow suit.

But it isn’t just the various governments that benefit from legal sports betting. We must also consider that regulated markets are much safer and fairer for Latin Americans who engage in sports betting. They know that regulated sites must adhere to high standards and operate with integrity. Bettors are far less likely to fall victim to scam sites that do dishonest things like refusing to pay players their winnings.

Ziggy Marley Accuses Sea Salt, A Luxury Villa In Ocho Rios, Of Discrimination Because He’s Jamaican. They Respond.

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Ziggy Marley — the eldest son of Reggae icon Bob Marley and an eight-time Grammy Award winner — has accused a luxury villa in Jamaica’s North Coast of discrimination.

Marley, who recently wrapped up filming of the Paramount Studios Bob Marley biopic on the island, said he attempted to book the Sea Salt Villa at Old Fort Bay in Ocho Rios last month, but, according to the singer, the owner allegedly refused because he “does not rent his property to Jamaicans.”

However, when DancehallMag contacted Sea Salt for a response to Ziggy’s allegations and to confirm whether or not Jamaicans are blacklisted from staying at the property, a manager said the singer’s account of the matter was “absolutely inaccurate” and that he is still welcomed to stay at the villa on the condition that he follows their rules.

Ziggy had discussed the matter with Kabu on Irie FM this morning on a “The Africa Forum: Running African” program titled “The Privatization Of Jamaica’s Beaches.”

According to the singer, he could now relate first-hand to the discrimination many Jamaicans have complained about, as similar treatment had been meted out to him.

“We even face it wiself.  Becaw me face it di odda day.  Meck mi tell yuh weh mi mean.  Mi a try rent a place – wi come Jamaica, wi a work pon di movie- Trench Town, Jungle Bull Bay all ova.  Enjoy di time, hard work suh wi finish dat now, an mi seh mi family come, mi wife come, mi yute dem come,” said Ziggy.

Ziggy Marley, his wife Orly Agai Marley, and their children. Photo: Kristin Burns / Courtesy of Tuff Gong Worldwide

“Suh mi find a nice place, a like villa someweh fi enjoy some beach life and what have you.   Old Fort Bay right yah suh, a Ochi a place name Sea Salt, a likkle villa name Sea Salt.  Only fi find out seh di man seh, when him hear seh a we, him seh him naw rent di place to no Jamaican,” Ziggy added.

He continued: “Mi a seh, wait a wha kind a place wi a live inna?  A discrimination… Yuh si even though mi a Ziggy Marley, mi still nuh roll inna certain circles.  My circle dem still deh inna di roots.  Suh dem still feel seh bwoy if dem rent Ziggy Marley a place, maybe some a di roots or suppm.”

Sea Salt has disputed Marley’s comments, revealing that the singer’s mother Rita Marley and her family had stayed at the property earlier this year.

“The villa was just rented to Rita Marley and her family a month ago who had written glowing reviews about their stay at the property,” the villa’s manager said.

A copy of the written testimonial, which was signed “The Marleys,” was provided to DancehallMag.

Sea Salt also explained that “the only strict policy that the villa has always communicated and kept consistent with is that there are no outside visitors allowed during a rental.”

“The villa’s homeowners have already communicated through Ziggy’s agent that they would welcome Ziggy and family if our standard rule is strictly followed,” they noted.

Built in 2007, Sea Salt offers a 5-bedroom main house on the beachfront, two 2-bedroom cottages, a butler, chef, housekeepers, and various luxury features. 

Their website reveals that the rates range from USD $29,000 to $44,000 for a 7-night stay. 

Sea Salt Villa in Old Fort Bay

During the radio program, Ziggy said it is untenable that Jamaicans are being discriminated against in their own country, and consequently, he will be joining hands with persons and groups battling to eliminate the problem.

He said discrimination must not be tolerated, but nevertheless, he was happy that he had experienced it himself, so he can now take necessary action.

“Mi glad mi have the experience caw now mi know.  Mi tell dem seh mi glad, becaw now mi know.  Mi experience it now, suh mi can deal wid it now in a different level,” he said.

“Listen, Jamaicans are being discriminated against in dem own country… by a certain class… I don’t know what it is but we are being discriminated against.  And wi can’t stand fi dat.  This is our country. How yuh a discriminate against we so we can’t do this or we can’t do dat?”

“Even though me can pay, you still a discriminate gainst mi.  Fi wha?  Caw mi a Jamaican?  No man. Dat caan work,” he added.

The Tomorrow People singer said that some constitutional amendments are necessary to ensure that the rights of Jamaicans are fully protected.

“What a gwaan a Jamaica nuh right.  Wi haffi change di constitution.  Wi haffi give the Jamaican people rights.  Wi fight fi di rights – Paul Bogle, Marcus, Sam Sharpe, Nanny mi faada.  Wi fight fi dis country, you know…,” he said.

“Yuh si, independence without rights is not independence.   Freedom without rights is not freedom. Suh wi haffi have rights fi guh wid di freedom weh wi seh wi get, fi guh wid di independence weh wi seh wi get, or else wi nuh have nuttn,” he added.

Update: Ziggy responded to this story, writing in an Instagram comment on Sunday evening: “Unuh know me naah lie. Why would I? We have the witnesses and the evidence. Dem try to whitewash it now. They know the truth and so do I as well as those who witnessed and pleaded with them about their disgraceful policy.”

He continued: “I was more than willing to follow dem rules. It’s a disgrace how they think about Jamaicans as if we don’t have any class or respect. I found another place that was cool with a Jamaican renting their villa.”

“We have to stop the discrimination against Jamaicans in Jamaica. Hopefully, Sea Salt will no longer have a policy of no Jamaicans allowed. We must test dem and see.”

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Christian media group steps up fight against LGBTQI push in Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Association of Christian Communicators and Media (ACCM) has expressed concern about what it says is a renewed push by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) activists and others to force changes to the Jamaican Constitution as it relates to the buggery law and the prohibition of abortion.

The Christian advocacy group, which compromises media workers and owners from across the region, asserted that repeal of the buggery law and legalisation of abortion in Jamaica will undermine the family, endanger the nation’s children and attack “godliness”.

The ACCM will be hosting an information forum on Good Friday, April 7, under the theme: ‘Man + Woman = God’s Perfect Plan’.

The forum will be held at 4:00 pm at the Freedom Come Tent on the Spanish Town Bypass in St Catherine. The event will also be aired on MTM TV and streamed on online platforms.

According to ACCM First Vice-President Reverend Basil Hanson, it is now common for people who renounce or oppose the LGBTQI lifestyle to face backlash or be blacklisted.

He argued that the Christian community should remain resolute in its stance that homosexuality is an abnormal behaviour.

“God made man and woman, male and female, and that is what we are promoting and we stand by that,” said Hanson as he noted that there has been a growing acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle globally.

Jamaica is one of six countries in the Americas and the Caribbean which have not legitimised same-sex sexual activities and according to ACCM, the country has been coming under immense pressure from gay rights activists to repeal the buggery law, despite several polls indicating that Jamaicans are not in support of such a move.

The overwhelming majority of Jamaicans polled by Bill Johnson in the two latest polls commissioned by the Jamaica Observer said that the law making sex between two men punishable should not be changed.

Strong support for the buggery law emerged from the polls conducted March 12-15, 2020 and July 9-12, 2020 by the veteran pollster among 1,200 voting-age Jamaicans across the country.

The polls had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent. The March poll was not published due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the island.

Section 76 of Jamaica’s Offences Against the Person Act makes buggery punishable across the board, with a penalty of imprisonment for up to 10 years, with hard labour.

When the pollsters asked Jamaicans to state whether the law should be changed or not, 93 per cent of respondents in both polls said no.

Support for amendments to the law totalled a mere three per cent in the March poll and five per cent in the July survey.

Against that background, the ACCM said, “We will not relent from our principled position that our children will not be coerced into accepting these practices as normal. Our very vulnerable education system is a prime target for this anti-God lifestyle. We are firm in our resolve that this must be resisted by the Christian Church through the power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”

Hanson believes the church community should be more vocal in asserting its stance, which is based on the Word of God. He is also concerned that more people of affluence and influence are adopting the secular view that an individual’s gender can be neutral.

“We have to save our children, because if we allow this to begin to permeate in the schools, we are in big trouble. We would have failed the next generation,” he stated.

He called on religious leaders to make their voices heard outside of the four walls of the church halls as the family comes under attack.

“Most people will not say anything, even though they do not agree with it, but the truth is, if you do not say anything, you are quietly supporting it, even though you are not,” said Hanson.

According to the ACCM, the forum is intended to provide vital information about the advance of the LGBTQI agenda and the efforts of foreign governments and international organisations to influence the policies of the Government of Jamaica. The organisation will also celebrate the family as the divinely created order established by the Creator.

The forum will also address the issue of abortion, which remains illegal in Jamaica except in some cases of medical emergency.

According to Section 72 of the Offences Against the Person Act, anyone found guilty of having or facilitating an abortion could be arrested. However, there have been calls in recent times for the abortion laws to be relaxed.

The ACCM is calling on the Christian churches to be united and stand together for righteousness and the ultimate prosperity of the Jamaican people and the nation.

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St. Lucia’s Government proposes billion dollar budget for new fiscal year

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The St. Lucia government says it intends to spend an estimated EC$$1.856 billion (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) during the 2023-24 fiscal year, promising to restore the social and economic fundamentals, necessary for growing the economy.

Prime Minister Phillip J Pierre has tabled the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and debate on the fiscal package is continuing here on Friday.

But he told legislators that the COVID-19 pandemic and its debilitating effects on the economic and social landscape of the country has left many persons poorer and, in some cases, “destitute.”

“We will increase the allocation towards poverty reduction. My government intends to provide relief to those persons through the continuation of our many social programs and by collaborating with social partners, committed to providing relief to those people.”

Pierre said that in support of his administration’s plans for economic expansion, the government intends to create an enabling environment for businesses to expand and be profitable.

“In the upcoming financial year, my government will be rolling out a number of programs and initiatives to support MSMEs, (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) empower the youth through the Youth Economy Agency, ensure the benefits of tourism are islandwide through the Community Tourism Project, provide for food security through the Blue Economy and diversification of the agricultural sector.”

He said the budget is estimated at EC$1.856 billion with EC$1.442 billion to be spent on

Recurrent Expenditure, EC$302.14 million on Capital Expenditure, EC$218.93 million on interest payments, and EC$112.25 million on principal payments.

The government is anticipating revenue to be EC$1.558 billion comprising of tax revenue of EC$1.260 billion, non-tax revenue of EC$153.0 million with EC$7.6 million going towards capital revenue and EC$147.04 million in grants.

Pierre said that the statisticians are predicting a further increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the calendar year “as GDP is projected at approximately six billion dollars n as compared to EC$5.5 billion in the current financial year.”

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Trinidad’s Central Bank says outlook for this year ‘looks favorable’

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Central bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) on Friday said the outlook for 2023 looks favorable, barring major external shocks.

In its Monetary Police Announcement for the month of March, the CBTT said domestic inflation moderated in January and that figures released by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) showed that headline inflation decelerated to 8.3 per cent in January 2023 year-on-year compared with 8.7 per cent a month earlier.

It said food inflation remained unchanged at 17.3 per cent, with slower price increases for fish, bread and cereals. Core inflation, which excludes food items, slowed to 6.1 per cent from 6.7 per cent, as price increases eased for housing, communication and furnishings.

The CBTT said the rate of price increases for building materials also decelerated.

“In terms of economic activity in Trinidad and Tobago, latest estimates put growth in 2022 at around 2.5 per cent. This reflected a relatively favorable performance in the energy sector alongside a gradual revival in non-energy production,” the CBTT said, adding that “there is some early evidence of improving labor market conditions based on observed increases in labor force participation in the third quarter of 2022 and the decline in the number of persons retrenched during the second half of 2022.

“The outlook for 2023 looks favorable, barring major external shocks. With respect to financial indicators, liquidity remains ample and credit buoyant, while interest differentials widened,” the Central Bank said.

It said commercial banks’ excess reserves at the Central Bank fell by around TT$400 million (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents), from TT$6.7 billion at the end of December 2022 to TT$6.2 billion at March 28, this year.

The CBTT said contributing to the decline were more extensive open market operations, including net treasury bill sales of around one billion dollars, and US$300 million in foreign exchange interventions by the Central Bank.

Financial system lending to businesses expanded by 9.8 per cent in December 2022. Credit growth to the construction and manufacturing sectors was recorded at 18 and 11 per cent respectively and “were particularly robust, while consumer credit gathered momentum”.

The CBTT said that the differential between interest rates on three-month treasures in Trinidad and Tobago and the United States moved to minus 429 basis points in February 2023.

“This compares to minus 392 basis points at the end of December 2022 in the context of US Fed tightening. There is evidence of a slight upward movement in domestic interest rates in recent months; the rise in average rates on loans exceeded those on deposits resulting in an expansion in the loan/deposit spread by five basis points to 6.36 per cent.”

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Belize imposes new entry requirements for Haitian and Jamaican nationals

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Belize government has announced new measures regarding the entry requirements into the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country for nationals from Haiti and Jamaica.

The John Briceno government said following a “thorough discussion” on the increasing number of visitors who are using Belize as a transit country to reach the United States, Cabinet has determined that Belize will invoke Article 226 (a) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs the 15-member regional integration movement of which both Jamaica and Haiti belong.

According to the government statement, invoking Article 226 (a) of the treaty would “allow for the Minister of Immigration to immediately impose a visa requirement for Haitians wishing to visit Belize and to require Jamaican nationals to provide evidence of fully paid non-refundable hotel reservations prior to boarding flights to Belize.

“In addition, a ministerial task force was set up to address the rampant smuggling occurring in this regard. The ministerial subcommittee will be chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration and will include the Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries and the Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations,” the statement said.

Both Haiti and Jamaica are signatories to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that facilitates the right to the establishment of businesses, to provide regional services, the free movement of capital and the coordination of economic policies.

It also allows for immigration arrangements for the free movement of people within the grouping.

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