Italian gambling operator HBG Gaming Group has become the 11th online licensee in Colombia’s regulated market.
This week, Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos announced that HBG’s local subsidiary HBG Latam had received a five-year license to offer online sports betting and casino games via its AguiJuego brand. The aquijuego.co website currently features only a ‘coming soon’ splash screen, but does promise “the most interesting bets in the market.”
HBG will support the website launch via a retail network of points of sale “inspired by Italian best practices.” The company called the Colombia launch “the first step in the internationalization strategy of the HBG Gaming Group” and the company’s first “big opportunity” to make a name for itself on the global stage.
HBG is the first Italian operator to hang out its shingle in Colombia’s online market, which is increasingly taking on a more international flavor. Earlier this month, US operator Rush Street Interactive’s Rusbet.co site received its official diploma from Coljuegos.
Coljuegos boss Juan Pérez Hidalgo celebrated the growing list of locally regulated options for Colombian punters who wish to wager on the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Last December, Hidalgo predicted there would be 20 Colombian-licensed sites up and running by the time the World Cup kicked off, but he said this week that he now expects to have 17 licensees by the end of the year.
One of those half-dozen new licensees will likely be Sun Dreams, the Chilean venture of South African gaming and hotel operator Sun International. This week, Sun Dreams GM Leonardo Pacheco Bachmann told YogoNet that the company hoped to launch online in Colombia under its SunBet brand by year’s end.
Bachmann said his company had yet to file its online application with Coljuegos but had discussed the possibility with Hidalgo. Bachmann was cagey on the details but claimed SunBet’s offering would be “a different business model to those that are already in operation,” apparently by focusing on “the particularities of this market,” whatever those may be.