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How the online gambling industry in Colombia became a driver of positive change

If we take a look at the state of the gambling industry right now, we can’t deny that significant progress has been made in recent years in countries across the world with respect to legalization of online gambling and regulation of the sector. Some parts of the world have experienced more growth than others, but the trend is noticeable in almost all regions. 


Latin America is definitely one of the less developed areas when it comes to online gambling. Although there’s immense potential in the region, Latin American countries still have a long way to go until they can compete with major players in the market. And yet there’s one Latin country that defied all expectations and managed to stand out from the rest in the gambling industry, and that’s Colombia. 


The Colombian online gambling market is like none other on the continent. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed how the Colombian gambling industry managed to reinvent itself and become the driver of positive change in the region. So, let’s take a closer look at how things happened and understand why the Colombian online casino environment is so special. 


The first fully-regulated online gambling market in Latin America

Colombians’ passion for gambling is not a secret to anyone. It’s a well-known fact that the locals enjoy gambling in all its forms, whether it’s at a land-based establishment or online, thanks to the countless providers of online casino games. From poker or sports betting, to tragamonedas or roulette, Colombians know their casino games well.   


But now they have even more reasons to start playing online casino games. In 2016 the online gambling market in Colombia became fully regulated after the eGaming Act was approved. This marked a new era for the gambling industry in Colombia and the beginning of a prosperous online casino environment. More and more reputable providers like Sportium Casino appeared on the market, giving players more opportunities to enjoy great casino games. 


Supporting the local economy

Some people might assume that playing online casino games doesn’t benefit anyone apart from the operators and the players, but that’s far from being true. Colombia is a great example of how a country’s gambling sector can provide a great support for the economy. It is estimated that the gambling industry worldwide will reach more than $127 billion by 2027 and Colombia is one of the countries that contributes to these figures. 


What does that mean? That Colombia found an effective method to bring money to the country and support the local economy. Let’s not forget that Colombia is also a sought-after tourist destination, attracting millions of tourists each year. In 2019, the country registered record figures in tourism, with more than 4 million visitors. All these tourists can now get in the game at land-based and online casinos in Colombia, offering a valuable stimulus for the economy. 


The impact on the community 

Playing online casino games is a great form of entertainment and Colombians are more than eager to try their luck.  But while they do so, players also give back to the community. That’s right, there’s more to the online casino industry than the thrill and fun of playing tragamonedas or other casino games. A part of the profits made by casinos, whether they’re land-based or online, go to the government, through taxes. 


Now let’s take a look at some figures. There are more than 2500 casino establishments in Colombia that are paying taxes to the government. It is estimated that the industry generated approximately 100 million dollars that went to the health sector and another 45 million dollars went to public finances. As you can imagine, these two sectors are essential for the wellbeing of Colombians. So, the fact that the gambling industry can bring additional resources in these areas represents a very smart strategy that benefits the whole community. 


Paving the way for other Latin countries

As we mentioned previously, Colombia is the first jurisdiction in Latin America to set up a fully-regulated online gambling environment. Other Latin countries are far behind it, even though they also show great market potential. But the good news is that Colombia’s progress serves as a model and a source of inspiration for other jurisdictions in the region. 


Now countries like Mexico and Brazil can follow in Colombia’s footsteps and begin the process for developing their own regulations for the gambling markets on their territory. Although it may take a while until all other countries can reach Colombia’s level, the road has already been paved and that means things are finally starting to move in the right direction. 


A wider selection of games

The regulation of the online gambling industry brought a lot of benefits for providers and players alike.  It’s important to note that Colombian players can now enjoy a wider variety of games legally. The casino experience has also improved, with operators such as Sportium casino providing a variety of quality casino games to satisfy even the most demanding players. 


Since providers have to follow strict regulations, players enjoy more peace of mind and they are more confident that the online casinos they access are safe and their data or their deposits are well-protected. This is beneficial for both parties as more people are tempted to try online gambling and enjoy the casino experience. 


Keeping up with the times 

We can safely say that online gambling and casino games in general are moving away from the stigma that once came with gambling activities. People are starting to understand that gambling is a great form of entertainment if practiced correctly. 



Colombia, as one of the countries that took extensive measures for the legalization and regulation of online gambling, had a great contribution to this change of perspective. And as the gambling industry develops further, the preconceptions surrounding it will slowly but surely fade away.