A New Colombian Gambling Culture is Taking Off

By 22 December, 2022

Many have had their eyes on Latin America, when it comes to the gambling market, as the continent is becoming a hotspot for casinos. In several countries like Argentina and Uruguay, we are witnessing an immense growth in the gambling industry, as more Latinos are noticing the popularity of the industry. But in order to understand this trend, one must look at Colombia.

Where it all began

Generally speaking, the gambling regulations in Latin America are very different from the EU. The European Union has an established framework of regulations, while in Latin America, the regulations depend on the country. Colombia has been the forerunner, as the country legalized online gambling in 2017 with European-like regulations with licenses. That same year, casinos could take home revenue of $60 million.

The interest in online casinos has spread to other South American countries, who legalized gambling in the following years. The demand for online casinos has undoubtedly increased. Therefore Latin Americans also look to other continents to find new casino reviews and bonuses in order to play the best casino games available. This is a great way to ensure that you are always picking the best option possible.

The Colombian gambling

Today, Colombia is one of the biggest markets on the continent. Over 82 percent of the population is expected to own a smartphone in 2025. Many Colombians, already have access to online gambling, and over half of the population either play casino games or do sports betting.

In Colombia, there is almost every form of gambling, since online casinos got regulated in 2016. When walking the streets of Bógota, the capital city, or other cities in Colombia, one can expect to see traditional betting shops, and gambling has also partially created jobs for Colombians.

Colombian casinos

For those who miss the land-based casinos and want the full experience, there are still Colombian land-based casinos visited by both tourists and locals. At the casinos the following games are among those allowed:

  • Poker
  • Bingo
  • Black-jack
  • Roulette
  • Slot machines
  • Virtual games
  • Sports betting

The cultural aspect

Colombia is a country rich in culture. They have exciting Latin music, and just like many other Latin American countries, Colombians love sports. Football is an integral part of the culture, and therefore sports betting is a big part of the market, which not only draws the attention of many Colombians but also tourists. Many people, therefore, enjoy going down to a sports bar and betting on several sports teams, watching the game with their friends, and having a drink.

A booming economy

Colombia has the 4th biggest economy in Latin America. And the gambling industry might have played a role in the economy. In 2019, betting contributions to the national budget were a 106% increase from the year before. Since gambling is controlled by the state, money from the casinos goes for social purposes like the country’s health program.

When illegal operations happen, Colombia ends up losing money. As the Colombian government and National Police have tried to stop illegal gambling by giving out licenses and regulating the market, this, therefore, affects the economy positively.

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