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Colombia – Hearing to rule on winning bid for Colombian sports betting

By - 12 May 2014

The Colombian Gaming Control Board (Coljuegos) is preparing to hold a hearing which will see the announcement of the winning licence bidder to operate Pari-mutuel sports betting.

The bidding process ended in April after Coljuegos carried out two public hearings on the issue in February and March with the aim of selecting a single national operator to operate the game nationwide. Two companies, GTech, SB Limitada and Corredor Empresarial S.A. made a bid to offer the game on a wide variety of sporting events including local football. This was after an agreement was struck with Colombia’s first division (DIMAYOR) where both parties agreed to work closely to together to ensure a transparent and legal betting offer on Colombian professional football matches would be available.

As well as allowing Pari-mutuel betting it is believed that the board could also soon green light online gaming although plans are at an early stage. Coljuegos hopes to have sports betting up and running ahead of the World Cup in Brazil which begins in June.

It is estimated that gross revenues for Pari-mutuel sports betting could reach over $38bn pesos (US$19,981,253.77) in its first year and could over the next five years contribute as much as $50bn pesos (US$26,291,483.52) to the public health service. The decision to allow Pari-mutuel sports betting was made in October last year in order to help the board achieve its goal of increasing tax revenue by fivefold by the end of the year. Gaming tax revenue in Colombia is destined for the health sector and currently makes up two per cent of its budget.

The minimum stake will be $2,500 pesos (US$1.3) including VAT which will rise each year. The prize fund will be made up of 58 per cent of gross sales

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not including VAT. From this amount a minimum of 50 per cent will be destined for the biggest prize while the rest will be divided up into the lesser categories of winning bets.

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