Colombia's gambling regulator Coljuegos has revealed strong
growth for its financial year ended June 30th, contributing COP500.6bn
(€142.6m) to support the country's health sector.
This contribution was up 27 per cent versus the
prior year period, with the increase aided by the strong performance of
newly-launched games such as Baloto and Superastro.
Growth has been aided by Coljuegos' efforts to expand the
appeal of regulated lotteries and games of chance, with additional lottery
prizes launched and existing prize structures overhauled. New online games have
also been rolled out, helping to attract a new audience.
"These adjustments have seen 17 people win the biggest
lottery prizes, with 1.5m new customers having a chance to win," Coljuegos
president Juan Pérez Hidalgo said.
Over the past year Colombia became the first South American
country to regulate iGaming, with a licence awarded to Aquila Global Group,
which has since launched under the WPlay.co brand. Coljuegos says that four new
licences are to be awarded in the coming months.
The iGaming regulation is also set to see a major crackdown
on unlicensed sites. In March, this year the regulator published a blacklist of
325 gaming sites, with access to 80 of these now blocked. The other 245 sites
will be properly blocked "in the next few days" according to
"We have generated protocols with the National Police
and the ICT Ministry to block the pages that offer games without being
authorized and we are holding meetings with the financial sector to promote the
greater acceptance of regulated gaming, through access to payment
gateways," Pérez Hidalgo said.
Over the past year 149 raids against illegal gambling
premises were also carried out, with a 99 per cent success rate, and
2,897 machines were confiscated.
Of the total of COP500.6bn generated for the country' health
sector, COP264.1bn was given to the Fondo de Solidaridad y Garantía (FOSYGA), a
trust to fund healthcare in the country.
Pension fund FONPET was given COP118.1bn, with the country's
regional healthcare funds awarded COP83.2bn. The Colombian Administrative
Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colencias) was granted COP25.3bn,
and departmental health funds COP9.9bn.