Colombia has issued its 12th online gambling license to local firm Royal Betting Solutions SAS.
On Monday, Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos announced that Royal Betting Solutions had received permission to launch online operations via its Apuestalo.co domain. Royal Betting, a venture of local construction, commerce and services entrepreneurs, has signed on for an initial three-year term.
Coljuegos boss Juan Pérez Hidalgo used the new license announcement to provide an update on the regulated market’s performance to date. Since the market’s first licensee launched in July 2017, Hidalgo said Colombian punters had wagered a total of COP500b (US$170m), while Coljuegos had collected COP15b in fees from its licensees.
Around 870k Colombian punters had registered with locally licensed sites as of May, a 35% increase from April’s total, reflecting both the rising number of approved gambling sites plus anticipation of June’s kickoff of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. About 85% of these bettors are men and the vast majority of bettors are under 40 years of age. Around 97% of player deposits are made in cash although the average deposit totaled a mere COP20k ($7).
Hidalgo said the biggest Colombian punter payday to date was a COP70m ($23,800) payday on an unspecified event, while Mexico’s World Cup upset of defending champs Germany earned one lucky punter a COP8m payout on a COP1m wager. An unfortunate German supporter lost a COP2m wager on the same match.
The Royal Betting announcement followed the issuing of the 11th license to Italy’s HBG Gaming Group late last month. Hidalgo reiterated his pledge to have 17 online licensees taking wagers by the end of the year.
Hidalgo also offered his standard warning to gambling operators both domestic and international who continue to serve Colombian punters without Coljuegos’ permission. If caught on Colombian soil, illegal gambling operators can face prison stints of up to eight years in addition to fines of over COP234m ($80k).