On the other hand, if gambling is legal and regulated, players are given consumer protection rights, and some issues, such as gambling addiction, can be addressed. That’s why the legislators in Colombia decided to take the gambling ship’s rudder in the country and create a legislative framework that would make everyone happy.
This project has been underway for several years, and gambling has become one of the factors that contribute to the overall growth of the country. Although it’s small compared to some other industries, it has a huge potential, and it created thousands of jobs in Colombia. A country that had been the epicentre of drug-trafficking, political unrest, and overall turmoil, emerged as a role model in South America regarding some industries, including gambling where the lawmakers managed to set a cornerstone for further development.
Alberto Carrasquilla, Finance Minister of Colombia, stated that the gambling industry contributed to his country’s GDP with $460 million in 2019, which is about 0.2% of the total GDP. The tax money was distributed to improve other areas of the country, with $170 million attributed to health, science, and technology sectors.
Moreover, Carrasquilla stated that the gambling sector employed a lot of people in Colombia. In 2019 alone, there were 111,000 job openings. According to him, whenever the country sees such an increase in employees in a single year, that’s always a great thing for the economy and a sign of huge progress.
Financial Benefits for the Gambling Sector
Despite being widely successful, the country’s gambling sector suffered some losses during 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The government of Colombia decided to provide a financial boost to the industry, stating that it has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in the country.
Finally, Carrasquilla said that the country had done its best to keep the industry clean. He brought up the fact that all operators in the country were actively engaged in keeping illicit activity at bay, helping the country achieve ‘all international standards in the anti-money laundering area’.
The country continues to expand its gambling industry as planned, despite the obstacles on the way. The sports are returning, and Colombians are big sports fans who enjoy sports betting. Therefore, it is expected that the sports gambling revenue will return to normal as well and contribute to the recovery process of the gambling industry.
Online Gambling in Colombia
Apart from regulating the land-based gambling market, Coljuegos, the main regulatory body of Colombia, has also paid attention to online gaming. In fact, the Latin American country has become the first one on the continent to have a fully-regulated online gambling industry. It became a significant milestone for further development of this type of entertainment in the area. Bogota became the epicentre of online gambling, as it is home to the expo that takes place annually and attracts all the big names of the industry.
Coljuegos made the important decision in November 2017, when they issued a decree that essentially allowed live casino games, as well as RNG titles. Therefore, casinos in the country need to apply for a licence in order to offer online gambling products to Colombian players.