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Colombia – Tender for new Baloto game postponed in Colombia

By - 20 September 2016

The tender to operate Multiplicador (Multiplier), a new option for those who play Baloto, has been postponed in Colombia after regional governors argued that the new game would mean less income for the health sector and job losses over time.

According to Governor of the Department of Valle del Cauca Dilian Francisca Toro, the new version of the game will have a negative effect on the health sector in her department and will threaten the jobs of some 95,000 lottery sellers nationwide should the game be permitted.

“We are telling Coljuegos that we are looking at the real impact on finances and employment and at what is being done, you can’t go releasing a game without looking at the finances on health especially on health which effects not only the cities but on the districts as well,” she said.

The governor argued that the resources the region currently received from Baloto are not enough and that the new Multiplier version of game will come to compete on unequal terms with the local lottery Chance games (also known locally as “Apuestas Permanentes) and lotteries which she says is unfair.

“For us the lottery and the Chance game are more important than Baloto; in Valle del Cauca the Chance game raises $46bn pesos per month and the lottery raises $26bn while Baloto only transfers $600m a year to us. That creates a huge impact on our finances and on our jobs.”

Meanwhile, the President of the Colombian Gaming Board (Coljuegos), Juan Perez Hidalgo said that Baloto has a very different customer base to both the Chance game and lotteries.

“The game of Baloto, as it is designed, in no way competes with Chance and lotteries, the game of Baloto is the game in which the most resources are transferred to Colombians,” he said.

However, Coljuegos confirmed that they received the petition from the governor and it was announced that the tender process had been postponed until the second week of November after a meeting was held between delegates from the Ministry of Finance and the President of Coljuegos.

Coljuegos first announced that there would be a licensing tender process for a new version of Baloto in July and the announcement of the winning bid was originally scheduled for this month.

Baloto is one of the most popular games in Colombia. The aim of the new contract was, according to a statement released by the board at the time, “not only to modernise the industry in the country but also to increase the income received by the state which is used exclusively for the financing of the health service.” The Board estimates that the game could raise as much as $500bn pesos during the first five years of its contract.

Baloto runs twice a week and there are around 11,900 points of sale nationwide in 600 municipalities in Colombia. Baloto is aimed at customers with a higher disposable income while Chance is quicker and provides a higher chance of a payout although the prizes are smaller.

GTECH (now IGT) was initially awarded a 10-year concession contract to bring the Baloto game to Colombians in December 1999 and the first draw was held in January 2001. In its first ten years IGT recorded sales of over $1.5bn pesos for the game. IGT’s licence to offer the game was extended in 2011 for five years and in 2015 the company announced plans to expand its sales network as well as plans to include a number of new innovations to the game including an online version. Baloto generated sales of $3.43bn pesos in 2015. The gaming terminals are located nationwide and are present in almost every single supermarket chain in Colombia.

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