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Gambling in Colombia

Gambling is mostly legal in Colombia, but the Colombian gambling industry is not as developed as it is in some other nearby Latin American countries. Casinos and lottery are the primary forms of gambling. According to 2012 figures Colombians bet $1.1 billion, of which around $825 million were spent on the lottery.

The country has about two dozen legal casinos operating today, mostly in the capital city Bogota. They can be visited by locals and tourists without any specific restrictions. Poker is very rare in Colombia and it is hard to find a game outside of casinos. Sports gambling is also catching on, but it is still mainly done in the form of horse and greyhound race betting.

Starting from November 2011 the state agency in charge of gambling (ETESA) was dissolved because of rampant corruption and replaced by a new public entity (COLJUEGOS), which has assumed control over slot machines, casino games, and bingos. In 2012, COLJUEGOS started a broad investigation of the country’s gambling establishments to verify the validity of their licenses.

Online Gambling in Colombia

Online gambling in Colombia is available to all players. The Colombian government has not taken a stance one way or another regarding gambling on the internet. They are open about it and do nothing to prevent players from gambling on foreign internet websites. In fact, every year in Bogota an online gambling expo is held. It is called FADJA (Feria Andina de Juegos de Azar). It is a major event, bringing in industry people from all the surrounding Latin American countries to participate. Perhaps FADJA is a sign of legal internet gambling coming to Colombia in the future.