Today, we’re gonna break down the gambling scene in a place like Colombia. We’ll chat about the top online casinos accessible to Colombian players, and we’ll spill the beans on our methodology for picking top-tier projects. We’ll also give you a history lesson on gambling in Colombia, clear up the legal stuff, and explain how the gambling industry is regulated. Of course, we won’t forget to mention the most convenient deposit methods for Colombian casinos, and we’ll give a special shout-out to the legality of cryptocurrencies. We’ll dive deep into the most popular sports in Colombia, and share the low-down on the availability of betting offices.
Best Online Casinos For Colombian People
Online casinos are totally legit in Colombia, as long as they’ve got a license from the government. This means there are heaps of high-quality projects that offer Colombian users a comfortable and reliable gaming experience.
Besides the local joints, the country is filled with foreign companies that have been building their brand and gaining recognition worldwide for decades. We’ll get into how to choose a good casino in a later section, but for now, check out our list of the best online casinos for Colombian players:
Gambling in Colombia started in the early 19th century, after they gained independence from Spain in 1810. Until the late 20th century, the biz stayed underground and wasn’t regulated by the authorities. This led to some establishments being a bit rough around the edges, and under the control of shady characters.
A new constitution was rolled out in 1991, that saw gambling as one of the state’s sectors. This meant that until 2001, the industry was state-run, which led to a bunch of problems like high-level corruption.
Then in 2001, The Colombian Gambling Act: Ley 643a 2001 was introduced. It’s still the main law that regulates gambling in Colombia. According to this law, any gambling activity can be private, as long as it’s regulated by the Colombian gambling commission (Coljuegos).
With the rise of the internet, additional laws were made to regulate online gambling. Specifically, in October 2016, the eGaming Act was passed, which clarified the legality of online casinos and sports betting, and outlined the licensing procedure.
In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some types of gambling entertainment like bingo/lotteries/scratch cards also became officially available online.
Legality and regulation of gambling
Currently, almost all types of gambling are legal in Colombia. This includes land-based establishments like casinos and betting offices, and their online counterparts. The country has a special commission, EICE Coljuegos, that licenses all types of land-based and online gambling. At the same time, a one-time license is issued for almost all types of gambling, making it easier for operators to enter the market. Administration and regulation of certain aspects also fall under the National Council of Games of Luck and Chance (CNJSA) and the Health Superintendent.
Choosing the best online casinos in Colombia
Now, we’d like to talk about the main things to keep an eye on before signing up at a casino. First, and most crucially, you need to check out the licenses and user reviews of the online casino. Then you should examine the payment systems on offer and the bonus policy. Finally, you should pay attention to the availability of 24/7 customer support and how well the site adapts to mobile devices, especially if you’re planning on playing on your smartphone. We’ll dig into all these aspects in a bit more detail next.
Legality and Safety
Since Colombia has its own license issued by EICE Coljuegos, it’s worth checking if it’s present if you’re planning on gambling at a local online casino. If you’re opting for offshore establishments, you’ll need to make sure these casinos have international licenses. This can be done by scrolling down the website and looking for the relevant information. Among the most reputable gaming commissions are Curacao, MGA, UKGC, and many others.
When reviewing casinos, we always pay particular attention to user reviews. Reading them, as well as breaking down disputes, helps to understand what kind of casino you’re dealing with. Real user reviews can be found on various specialized websites dedicated to casinos, or gaming forums. Some of the most popular ones include SrCasino.co and onlinegamling.com/co.
Bonuses & Promotions
A nice bonus is that there are no restrictions on bonuses for players from Colombia. Therefore, any good online casino will have a host of nice freebies waiting for you. We meticulously analyze the offers from different casinos, and highly rate those sites that provide players with the best conditions.
A wealth of deposit methods is a pretty important criterion. Since not all players like using their bank cards to top up their account in an online casino. Consequently, you should only choose online casinos that offer alternatives like e-wallets, prepaid card services, or cryptocurrency.
You can get all the information you need by reaching out to customer support. A good casino will always have a 24/7 service, capable of providing information swiftly or resolving any issues. A key point is the communication in Spanish, as this allows for a high level of interaction.
Many Colombian players prefer gaming on their mobile phones. Consequently, we thoroughly study the level of casino adaptation to mobile devices. This includes both the overall interface, which should be easy to navigate, as well as a convenient window for depositing/withdrawing funds.
Bonuses and promotions for Colombian players
You can loosely split the main types of bonuses into 3 groups. The first group is the welcome bonus, which is given to all new players right after registration and often applies to several deposits.
The second group is bonuses for regular players, who’ve already burnt through their welcome package. This group includes weekly reloads, special gifts for reaching a new level in the VIP system, and a whole lot more.
Lastly, most online casinos in Colombia have a special section set aside for races and tournaments. Thanks to this type of activity, you can expect additional prizes simply for playing your favourite slots. Next, we’d like to go over each type of bonus in more detail, using specific examples.
As already mentioned, this type of bonus is available to new players right after registration. Often, the welcome bonus consists of a deposit boost or a certain number of free spins. But in the best online casinos in Colombia, you can get both the boost and free spins, and it applies to several deposits right off the bat.
Regular Player Bonuses
Regular players aren’t left out in the cold either. After all, once you’ve used up your welcome package, there’s plenty more loot waiting for you. This includes weekly reloads, letting you increase your deposit and snag free spins, and special VIP systems, with which you can score big cash prizes and high cashback. For instance, at Melbet Casino, the following bonuses are available:
Friday reload bonus for regulars, giving you a 50% deposit boost and up to 100 free spins
Birthday bonus – after your birthday, you can get 20 free spins every day for a week
VIP cashback – a special rating system with 8 levels. The higher the level, the higher the cashback and the reward you can bag
Races and Tournaments
Various casinos hold special promotions that take place in specific slots. During these promos, you need to play slots from the list and rack up points. The more points you have at the end of the tournament, the higher your rank and the bigger the prize. For example, at Fairspin Casino, you can find the following tournaments:
Triple Cherry Crush – the larger the total of your bets, the higher your place in the tournament leaderboard. The total prize pool is $4000, divided among 20 prize places.
Magic Apple – you get tournament points for every high multiplier you snag. The total prize pool is $5000, with 20 spots up for grabs.
The Force of Stars – play your favourite games and score TFS. The top 10 most active users will share a prize pool of $20000.
Sports betting in Colombia
As already mentioned, placing bets on sports is totally above board in Colombia. The local permit for such activity is issued by an organization called EICE Coljuegos, and bagging one is no sweat. Among the most popular bookies in Colombia, you might want to check out BetPlay, Sportium, RushBet, AquiJuego, Yajuego, and many others.
Sports itself is also madly popular across the country. The most popular sports to name are:
Football (Soccer) – this sport consistently takes the crown in South American countries. Its popularity is due to the swarm of professional players born in South America. In Colombia, a big part of the appeal also lies in the well-established infrastructure that gets people involved in the game.
Cycling – a heck of a lot of Colombians own a bike. This is not just because it’s handy for getting around given Colombia’s landscape, but also because of their passion for a healthy lifestyle. Cycling is a big hit for a large part of the country’s population, hence the popularity of various types of cycling sports.
Boxing – a contact sport that’s traditionally popular in many South American countries. Thanks to fighters like Miguel Lora and Rodrigo Valdez, boxing hit the big time back in the day. Since then, it hasn’t backed down because both young and old generations love to practice this sport and watch professional matches.
Basketball – Basketball is picking up speed in Colombia. According to the latest counts, over a million people are shooting hoops at various levels. The country boasts more than 3,000 different teams, including those playing in professional leagues. Consequently, the country has its own infrastructure: virtually every city has a ton of basketball courts.
Roller skating – another sport that, like cycling, is a popular hobby. Since Colombians take their health very seriously, regular outdoor activities are a big deal. And roller skating fits the bill.
Convenient payment systems
Colombia offers a wide range of convenient payment systems. Among them are direct deposits using bank cards and transfers, as well as various e-wallets. For those punters who are concerned about their privacy, cryptocurrency deposits should be right up their alley. Now, let’s break down the most popular deposit methods in Colombian online casinos.
Credit cards are the easiest and most convenient way to top up your online casino account. A major plus is that Colombian banks don’t put up roadblocks for transactions to online casinos, so they go through swiftly and without a hitch. The downside is the need to leave your bank details on the casino site and the certain fees that some banks take.
Bank transfers are somewhat old-school, but still used by some gamblers. Advantages of this method are that you don’t need to leave your bank details and the fees are low. The main drawback is that the transaction can take a few days.
E-wallets are popular in Colombia for deposits. It’s an efficient and handy method, no hassle required. Just create an account and top it up in any way you want, say with a credit card. Then you can move your money wherever you want in a single click, like to an online casino. Some of the most common services include Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, PayU, NEQUI, and many more.
Special banking services
Special banking services are another handy solution for quick deposits from either your bank card or account, such as various e-banking services. The most popular Colombian service is Efecty. It lets you link your bank account to the service in just a few clicks, then top up your online casino account directly, bypassing extra expenses and maximizing transfer speed.
Cryptocurrencies are a deposit method that’s gathering more and more fans, thanks to transaction anonymity, speedy transfers, and minimal fees. To make a deposit, simply buy your desired cryptocurrency and send it to the casino’s account. In 5-10 minutes you’ll be ready to roll. The same goes for withdrawing funds.
NOTIFY Cryptocurrency doesn’t have the status of real currency in Colombia, as it doesn’t meet the respective requirements. As a result, companies that own bank accounts in Colombia aren’t allowed to use cryptocurrency. The tax base is similar to Spain’s: cryptocurrencies can be taxed as assets, but not as money. As a result, you can be taxed on profits from trading or investing.
However, there isn’t a specific legal framework that clearly defines cryptocurrency. There’s no prohibition on activity for individuals either, so you can buy/sell cryptocurrency and use it to make a deposit at an online casino.
Popular gambling providers in Colombia
Colombian gamblers are quite picky when it comes to choosing providers for online casinos. Consequently, the market leaders who create top-notch products are the most popular. However, various smaller developers that emphasize creativity and theme variety also enjoy popularity in the country. Let’s whip up a short list of the most popular providers.
A seasoned developer that’s been around since the late 20th century. Over time, they’ve crafted a massive number of diverse games, from much-loved online slots to various table and card games, including live dealer games. With an arsenal of over 600 games of various themes, Colombian players appreciate this rich buffet of gaming options.
A relatively young provider that quickly gained ground in markets around the world. They stand out for their savvy product development approach and high level of creative energy. Colombian players like their themed slots tailored for the Latin American market as well as their other popular products.
The biggest developer of live dealer games, which houses providers such as Big Time Gaming and NetEnt. Beyond their various table and card games with live dealers, they deserve a shout-out for game shows like Crazy Time and MegaBall, which have won the hearts of Colombian players.
A somewhat under-the-radar provider that’s part of the massive Novomatic group. They focus on developing interesting online slots, with their overall game count nearing 400. As a result, the wide range of products translates to extensive thematic and gaming variety.
An intriguing Maltese developer producing all sorts of products. That’s how they’ve won the trust of players worldwide. Since every player can find a game to their taste.
Land-based casinos in Colombia
Land-based casinos have been legal in Colombia since 1991. To open a venue, you need a state license issued by the EICE Coljuegos agency. There are about 150 gaming venues in Colombia, most of which are small gaming clubs, with about 20 major casinos. The largest private operators are companies CIRSA and Codere, operating over 60 venues in more than 20 cities in Colombia. Land-based casinos are open to both locals and tourists, setting Colombia apart from countries where casinos are often off-limits to local residents.
The biggest game house in the heart of Colombia is Casino Rio Medellín, located in the city of Medellín, in the Antioquia department. The casino building is a huge modern edifice that gives a nod to local architectural styles. The casino itself is divided into various gambling zones, each featuring different types of betting games. The main hall is crammed with slot machines, which give way to tables for electronic board games and directly to roulette tables.
For card game fanatics, you might wanna take a peek into the Poker House next door, which boasts over 20 tables for various card games (poker, baccarat, blackjack). The venue also sports a top-notch restaurant serving both local, and European/Asian cuisine, various shops and entertainment areas, as well as a summer terrace. For high rollers, there’s a VIP lounge, where both high-stakes slot machines and a variety of table and card games are available. The loyalty program, rewarding frequent customers with nice gifts and special service, is worth a shout-out.
Luckia Casino, another sizable joint, is situated in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá. This casino specializes in card games and is the largest land-based poker room in the capital. It offers over 20 card tables. Consequently, game variety is also grand: 3 tables for blackjack, 4 tables with video poker, 6 tables for Omaha and Texas Holdem. In addition, the VIP club for high rollers operates 5 tables for baccarat, 2 tables for blackjack, and 2 roulette tables. But the gaming options don’t stop there – Luckia Casino also features over 80 slot machines and 2 electronic roulettes.
Apart from the gaming area, you’ll find posh restaurants and boutiques within walking distance, as well as cultural centers regularly hosting various performances. Luckia Casino itself hosts weekly poker tournaments attracting both hobbyist players and pros alike.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Colombia
Since 2001, Colombia has hosted a large number of lotteries. Most of them are private and aren’t directly regulated by the government. All you need to create a lottery is to get the appropriate license from the state agency EICE Coljuegos.
Currently, the most popular lotteries are those run by the company Baloto, and some local lotteries tied to cities, like LOTERÍA DE BOGOTÁ or Lotería de Medellín. It’s these lotteries we’d like to delve into more.
Baloto is the country’s main national lottery that countless Colombians play, regardless of where they hang their hats. It’s been running successfully since 2001. To get in on the game, you have to pick 5 numbers from 1 to 43, and a special “super ball” from 1 to 16. Besides the main game, Colombians can also try their luck with the “Revancha” lottery, which translates as “rematch”. No need to pick new numbers here, as your original combo will stay in the game for an additional draw.
One great feature of this lottery is the pretty decent odds of winning, while the prizes are sky high, since the jackpot rolls over to the next round without any cap, if it isn’t won. The biggest jackpot in history was a whopping 117 billion Pesos, won in September 2012. There are 9 prize categories in Baloto, each with specific odds of winning:
Number of matches
Chance of fallout
1 of 15 401,568
1 of 962 598
1 of 1 974 560
1 of 197 456
1 of 123 410
1 of 14 448
1 of 12 341
1 of 688
1 of 16
Draws are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays and are broadcasted on national TV at 11 pm local time.
Lotería de Bogotá is another popular lottery, named after Colombia’s capital. You can buy a ticket either on the official website or at various brick-and-mortar locations. A full ticket costs 15000 Pesos, and a partial ticket runs you 5000. After buying a ticket, you pick 4 numbers from 0 to 9.
This lottery has a lot of prize places. Draws are held every Thursday at 10:30 pm local time. You can check the results on the lottery’s official website, and see if your ticket struck gold. A part of the funds collected goes towards social causes and healthcare needs. That’s a common trend in the industry, which applies to all lotteries.
Besides lotteries, poker is also incredibly popular in the country. Like other gambling games, it’s totally legal, both in its offline and online formats.
Land-based and online poker rooms have to get licensed by the state agency EICE Coljuegos. However, often offshore poker rooms flout this rule, as they’re outside the reach of Colombian law. You can play offline poker in one of the 150 clubs scattered across the country.
For online poker fans, it’s worth checking out the biggest overseas poker rooms, like 888poker, EveryGame Poker, and Unibet Poker. Unfortunately, some well-known rooms, such as PokerStars or GGPokerok, don’t accept players from Colombia.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Colombia
It’s worth noting that in Colombia there’s a local gambling license issued by EICE Coljuegos, which also applies to online casinos. As a result, if you’re playing at a local online casino that holds this license, you’re getting a certain level of trust and security. If you have any issues with such a casino, you can directly reach out to this authority, either by giving them a ring, submitting a complaint, or shooting an email.
Those players who prefer offshore casinos should also be clued up about the main international gambling commissions. These include, for instance, the MGA, UKGC, Curacao, AGCC, and many others. If a casino holds one of these licenses and has bent the rules against you, you can take your issue to the corresponding commission. You can do this by going to the website and finding the complaint form, or by firing off an email directly to the commission, detailing the problem you’re facing. You should get a response within a fortnight. If the casino has genuinely done you dirty, then the commission will insist on a resolution in your favor.
In conclusion, it’s fair to say that Colombia is ahead of the curve when it comes to the development of the gambling business. The country offers every kind of gambling game you can think of, from land-based slot machines, to lotteries and online poker. One handy feature is the existence of a single license that covers all types of games. This simplifies the development of both offline and online establishments, and as a result, enables any casino or betting shop to offer the best conditions for players.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online casinos legal in Colombia?
Yes, online casinos are completely legal. There are a large number of sites in the country that operate under a local license. In addition to local casinos, there is a large presence of well-known offshore online casinos in Colombia.
Are there any land-based casinos in Colombia?
There are over 150 gaming establishments represented in Colombia. Most of them are small clubs, but there are also about 20 large casinos.
Can I play poker in Colombia?
You can play offline poker at one of the land-based poker clubs or casinos. For online poker, various poker rooms such as 888poker are available.
Is sports betting legal in Colombia?
Betting on sports, as well as other forms of gambling, is completely legal in Colombia. You can bet both at land-based bookmakers and online.
Can I buy cryptocurrency in Colombia?
There is no ban on buying or selling cryptocurrency to individuals in Colombia. Therefore, you can easily buy it for investment purposes, or use it to deposit in casinos.