Latin America is ripe for expanded gambling. Some countries in the region already recognize this, while others are slow to react. Those in the latter group can find motivation in Colombia, which has seen massive growth of its gaming industry over the last year. According to Coljuegos, the country’s gaming regulator, gambling in Colombia was worth over $5 billion for the first six months of the year.
Colombia Gambling at New Levels of Success
Coljuegos has released the health of the Colombian gaming sector, reporting $5.03 billion in the first six months of 2021. Compared to the same period last year, that translates into a 99.3% jump in revenue on top of the $2.52 billion reported in 2020. The gaming regulator expects even greater growth for the rest of this year, with Coljuegos Commercial VP Jhon Jairo Altamiranda saying during a GAT Expo event last week, “We hope that in the second half of 2021, this manner continues with the same sales rhythm, positioning itself in the market as one of the great strengths of our sector.”
It wasn’t enough that gambling in Colombia skyrocketed this year, but the iGaming segment is seeing tremendous growth, as well. According to Coljuegos, online gaming revenue increased by 148% compared to last year, with the segment recording $2.1 billion. Part of that increase came from a reduction in sports betting, the result of canceled games due to COVID-19. This led to more people seeking out alternative gambling options to fill the void. Explained President of Coljuegos César Augusto Valencia Galiano, “As an effect of the cancellation of sporting events at a national and international level, a considerable increase was generated in the participation of RNG (random number generator) games.”
Colombia Continues to Attract Attention
With these types of results, it’s no surprise that more operators want to be a part of the Colombian gaming industry. Several companies have entered the scene over the past year, including Pariplay, Betfair and iSoftBet, and others are rapidly looking to get involved before they lose too much ground. The results have also been good for Coljuegos and its ability to manage the industry, leading it to introduce new controls to combat match-fixing and illegal operators.
The increased attention given to the Colombian gaming industry is also having a positive effect throughout Latin America. With other countries witnessing the revenue possibilities from expanded gambling options, more are beginning to take the subject seriously and are proactively working to introduce their own robust markets. This trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon, and the next couple of years are going to see a lot more emphasis placed on gaming options across the region.