Every year, almost USD 1,400 million are allocated to games of chance in Colombia. Chance is the most successful, and gamblers invest USD 849 million a year in this game, according to Baltazar Medina, president of Feceazar (Colombian Federation of Games of Chance Businessmen).
There are 56 companies legally dedicated to the business, and every Friday there are seven options to bet and four foreign games: Play, Evening, Cash and Winy. Even tough there is no accurate data on gamblers in casinos, it is estimated that Colombians spend USD 235.9 million annually in these activities that are held every day until sunrise.
There are 3,200 casinos registered in the coutry, 62,000 roulettes and table games and electronic equipments. On top of that, 23 lotteries, Baloto, Superastro and Ganagol. They also gamble USD 188,7 million a year in lotteries. Of all the legal games (casinos, chance and lotteries) the health sector receives USD 235.9 million every year, according to Claudia Ximena Muñoz, Director of Fedeloterías.
Panama is the country in which people gamble the most in Latin America, and Colombia has the second place, with regards to the number of gamblers and the number of gambling houses, even when Brazil and Argentina beat these countries in the number of bettors.
This study does not consider illegal games and bets, which, according to Fabio Villa Rodríguez, manager of Lotería de Bogotá, have a 30 to 40% of the market. “This represents a figure of USD 18.8 million a year that should be allocated to the health sector”. The Colombian games of chance sector generates 730,000 direct employments.