Best Online Casinos in Colombia
Colombia, surprisingly, is one of the countries with more or less adequate regulations on the gambling market. The best news about Colombian gambling is that the country is very player-friendly - at least for now - so the players will find themselves in extremely beneficial position.
This leads to the question whether gambling in Colombia is legal, and what forms are legal? The answer is everything is legal. Colombia enjoys all forms of betting and gambling, both online and offline. There are numerous land based facilities suited to all taste, and local operators run official and licensed secure online casinos safe to play at.
But wait, there’s more. Despite the fact the local gambling market is pretty developed and regulated, local residents are not restricted from playing for real money at foreign sites operated from abroad! There is no law that prohibits access to offshore online casinos, or prohibits globally famous and reliable international operators to offer their entertainment services to Colombian residents.
This makes the choice of platforms for real money betting - and winning - wildly wide! All that is left is to choose the best real money online casino Colombia. However, in this aspect we have already done all the work for you, collecting a list of the top Colombia online casinos out there. Check best online casino Colombia out, claim your top online casino bonus, and win real cash!
List of Online Casinos for players from Colombia
History of Gambling in Colombia
Colombia has a rich history, and while little is known specifically about gambling traditions, there are things we can suggest.
Before the European colonization, native population could enjoy their own traditional games, and gambling could be a cultural form of pastime. In the middle of the 16th century, Spanish started the process of colonization, and for centuries on, the country remained under the Spanish rule. Spanish were strict Catholics, so obviously gambling, if any, was not supported as part of the culture, and was present in the form of a bad habit. With time, native population also borrowed some of the games of skill and games of chance, but no real shift took place until the middle of the 21st century.
In 1943, gambling in Colombia was legalized for the first time. All existing casinos were granted legal status after they managed to meet several simple rules. They were allowed to freely provide their services to all citizens 18 years old and older. The very first regulatory body controlling this market in the country was The Empresa Territorial para la Salud, and it continued its existence up to year 2011.
The Empresa Territorial para la Salud was claimed rather corrupted, and in 2011, a new authority was created, called Coljuegos. The task of Coljuegos was to modernize the niche, including management of online sites and online gambling Colombia.
In 2013, the country saw the first results of the agency’s work, as all offshore operators were warned their domains will be blocked from Colombia unless they acquire local license. In four years, already by 2017, the state successfully blocked over 300 sites that were providing online gambling entertainment services illegally to Colombian residents.
In 2016-2017, Coljuegos developed and issued the new law called eGaming Act. This act permitted both local and international online casino operators to apply for state licenses to provide service in the country. The first license was issued already in 2017, and since then, the country seems to successfully regulate the niche this way.
Management of this niche allowed Colombia become more financially stable, and as a result, more influential among its neighbors. It became the first country in South America to approve national online gambling legislation, which is a huge step forward.
Current Situation on Gambling in Colombia
As for today, gambling market develops freely in Colombia. There are numerous land based casinos, most of them attached to big hotels, and both tourists and locals are alloyed to play for real cash. Besides gambling houses, Colombians can also win by playing lotteries, raffles, or bingo. Animal racing and sports betting are very popular in the country, as well. Many locals still prefer offline venues, because this is also a way to socialize.
The number of online casinos is growing constantly, and most sites provide licensed service. Colombians still frequently look for international casinos, for a variety of reasons, but those sites are also licensed - otherwise, they are blacklisted and blocked by the government.
Colombia Gambling Laws
After the eGaming Act was issues, as many as sixteen private betting operators immediately applied for the license. Even more applied later for future licensed operation, which means they saw potentially promising market there. To get the license and run services, among other requirements, the site’s URL must end with .co.
While the state continues to blacklist and block foreign platforms that do not apply for the license, the players are not violating any local laws, and are not persecuted, if they make real money bets at offshore platforms. Local operators that try to provide service to locals without being licensed face serious fines and up to eight years in prison.
In terms of land based gaming, the state holds monopoly, as all operators are controlled and supported by the government. There are two levels of gaming in Colombia - regional and national.
According to the national level, the games offered are:
- brick and mortar casinos
- online gaming sites
- promotional games
Games on regional level include:
- horse racing betting
Different levels are managed by different agencies.
Regulatory Authorities in Colombia
The main national body responsible for the gambling market in Colombia is Coljuegos. It controls all issues on the national level, takes part in lawmaking, enforces the law, and also grants responsibilities to regional-level agencies.
At regional level, there are two responsible authorities - the National Council of Games of Luck and Chance (CNJSA) and by the Health Superintendent.
Taxation Laws on Gambling in Colombia
Taxes imposed on gaming businesses in Colombia are pretty impressive - before the new laws were considered, the tax could go up to 44-50% annually. In average, the majority of companies pais around 15%, but that depended on a number of aspects. However, at the time of writing, new law was considered, aiming to decrease the tax to 20% maximum for the highest-paying operators. According to the state, this step should attract new companies to the country.
As for taxes imposed on winnings, the situation is not clear. There are no known cases of the state demanding the winners to pay for their winnings online. There is a small tax on offline playing, but it is either included into the bet, or withdrawn at the source. However, the government may soon want to figure out paying taxes on winnings at web casinos.
Land Based Casinos in Colombia
There are numerous land based gaming houses in the country, open to both locals and tourists. Here, we’ll have a quick look at three the biggest brick and mortar casinos in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. In case you want to play in the web, check Bogota online casino.
This place is the part of a big network of casinos by one operator, Winner Group. This particular venue offers up to a hundred of video slots machines, ten table games, and several poker tables. It has to be mentioned that card games are particularly popular in Colombia, so the focus on card games (and other games of skill) should not be surprising.
Another big casino Colombia by Winner Group, it offers table games and also separate poker tables. There are restaurants for dining, and entertainment events are held on a regular basis.
Being part of a huge shopping and entertainment mall, this gaming house offers ten table games, and a selection of video slots machines.
Banking Options for Gambling in Colombia
Since gambling is totally legal in Colombia, locals and tourists can use any of the following banking methods for depositing and withdrawing:
- American Express
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- First Data
As you see, not all payment methods are listed, but you can check PayPal casino online for more options.
Popular Cities for Gambling in Colombia
At the time of writing, there were 75 registered land based casinos in the country. Most cities have only one gaming facility, but bigger cities are truly the centers of gaming. These include:
- Armenia - 3
- Bello - 4
- Bogota - 25
- Cali - 6
- Medellín - 10
And we’re only talking casinos here. if you are interested in sportsbooks, animal racing, or bingo halls, there are more venues to enjoy.
Facts About Colombia
Colombia is a gambling heaven, but it is also famous for other cool stuff. Check these facts out:
- children in Colombia are allowed to drink coffee with milk after meals, while adults prefer strong black coffee
- national anthem is played on the radio and TV twice a day
- during big national celebrations, alcohol is forbidden to avoid violence
- the country is home to pink dolphins
- cheese dipped in hot chocolate is a local treat
- young adults most often live with their parents until they are ready to marry