Most Popular Bookies in Colombia

Betting in Colombia is one of the favorite pastimes among the citizens of this South American country. In this round-up, find out every vital detail about sports betting in Colombia, from the history and development of gambling to its legality, payment methods available, and the popular sports that Colombian punters bet on.

Betting sites are undoubtedly the most sought-after gambling platforms in Colombia. The country has a population with a massive appetite for betting.
According to recent estimates, over 59% of Colombian adults regularly engage in some form of betting.

Most Popular Bookies in Colombia
Betting in Colombia

Betting in Colombia

Betting in Colombia has evolved. In this segment, find out the history of gambling in the country, its current state, and what the future holds.

More interesting is the fact that Colombians wagered over US$62.8 million during the 2018 World Cup. In the same tournament, the Colombian team's four matches attracted a whopping US$3.9 million in bets. Obviously, the numbers have risen. The above are enough statistics to prove that, indeed, sports betting in Colombia is popular.

The Colombian population consists mainly of young people who are into sports, especially soccer. The government has also played a key role by opening the online gambling market in the country. For the record, Colombia is Latin America's first regulated gambling market. The role of bonuses and promotions also can't be ignored.

Betting in Colombia
History of Betting in Colombia

History of Betting in Colombia

The history of betting and gambling goes back to the precolonial era. Then, Colombians would casually bet on sports such as cockfighting and bullfighting, as well as other games such as soccer. However, the industry was not well established as there were few betting options.

Between the time the country gained independence from Spain and the late 1980s, gambling houses were prevalent, but they had not been officially legalized. It was not until 1991 that the government took charge, and gambling became a state monopoly. This resulted from the fact that gambling had become synonymous with crime, corruption, and other vices.

Even though gambling opportunities, including casinos, sports betting, and bingo, were state monopolies, there was a shift in 1997 when the government entered into agreements with private companies. As a result, it became possible for private establishments to set up shop in the country.

History of Betting in Colombia
Betting Nowadays in Colombia

Betting Nowadays in Colombia

Online betting did not crop up in Colombia as early as in other countries, but it blossomed immediately when international betting sites started accepting players from the country. Interestingly, in 2014, during the World Cup in South Africa, betting in Colombia grew exponentially and opened a new chapter in the country's gambling industry.

Now that online betting had taken root, the government stepped in once more to regulate the industry. It passed the eGaming Act in 2016. This mandated the Coljuegos to oversee all online betting companies in the country and related activities. Even though the law was passed in 2016, a local operator named GTECH had already been issued a license to offer online betting services to Colombians in 2015.

Today, there are more than a dozen locally licensed betting sites in Colombia. And it's not just the local companies. Several international bookmakers have also received licensing from Coljuegos.

Betting Nowadays in Colombia
Future of Betting in Colombia

Future of Betting in Colombia

Today, Colombia is one of the fastest-growing betting markets in South America. It has even overshadowed all other gambling forms. According to a 2021 report from Coljuegos, betting is the country's most popular form of gambling, raking in 56% of the total online gambling sales.

So, the big question is, what is shaping the future of the Colombian online betting industry?

Internet Penetration

First is the high internet penetration. In 2020, Colombia was among the countries in South America with the highest mobile internet penetration. Reports indicate that at the time, it had hit 70%. Talking of mobile internet penetration, the availability of affordable smartphones has also played a vital role in the industry's growth.

Betting Sites and Bonuses

Another aspect is the availability of betting sites. As mentioned earlier, the country boasts over a dozen sites licensed by Coljuegos. There are also international sportsbooks. One thing about these sites is that they offer Colombians plenty of fantastic bonuses and promotions. There are free bets, welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, birthday bonuses, and loyalty programs that entice punters.

Future of Betting in Colombia
Top Sports Tournaments and Events

Top Sports Tournaments and Events

The availability of top sporting events in the country has also made betting popular. Colombia hosts several coveted events; for example, the Categoría Primera A, the country's top-flight soccer league.

Besides, there are domestic cups, including Copa Colombia and Superliga Colombiana, which attract not just soccer fans, but bettors too. The country's national football team also participates in international competitions such as Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, and, of course, the FIFA World Cup.

And it's not just soccer. Colombians also treasure cycling, basketball, boxing, volleyball, skating, motorsports, and baseball, games which have betting markets almost all year round.

Top Sports Tournaments and Events
Betting Acts in Colombia

Betting Acts in Colombia

The legal framework of Colombia's betting industry has undergone several changes. Below are the major acts that have shaped the industry.

  • The Colombian Gambling Act: Law 643a of 2001: This is the primary act that came to unify all gambling establishments and subject them to the country's law. It touched on brick-and-mortar gambling establishments only.

  • eGaming Act 2016: Before the enactment of this law, there was no clarity on whether online betting was legal or not. The government passed the eGaming Act 2016, which cleared the air on online betting. It made online sports betting legal as long as the bookmakers had a local license from Coljuegos.

Betting Acts in Colombia
Colombian Players' Favorite Sports

Colombian Players' Favorite Sports

Soccer is the most popular sport among Colombian punters. This is because soccer itself has the most extensive following in the country. According to FIFA statistics, there are over 3,043,220 soccer players in total. In addition, almost half of all adults are also into the game, so definitely, soccer betting leads the pack when it comes to gambling.

Besides soccer, Colombian players like to wager on cycling, another top sport. The country is known for its cycling culture and has produced some of the world's finest cyclists on international stages.

Besides soccer and cycling, Colombians are also fans of basketball, baseball, rugby, hockey, motorsports, combat sports, and even virtual sports. Interestingly eSports wagering is also gaining traction, especially after the pandemic struck.

Colombian Players' Favorite Sports
Biggest Local Tournaments and Events

Biggest Local Tournaments and Events

When it comes to the top local sports events, the domestic top-flight league, Categoría Primera A, is the most followed, together with the cups, Copa Colombia, and Superliga Colombiana. Punters wager on games played in the entire season. The main highlight in soccer, however, is the Colombian derbies.

The stadiums are always full when Atlético Nacional takes on Millonarios FC, two teams whose rivalry goes back to the 80s. Another top event is the Clásico Vallecaucano, a local derby match contested between América de Cali and Deportivo Cali. Colombians also bet on the international cups their teams participate in; for example, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, the World Cup, and of course, the global and club friendlies.

Colombia also hosts the Bogota Half-Marathon annually since 2000. The marathon holds the World Athletics Platinum Label Road Race status and attracts over 45,000 runners. Here again, punters wager on their favorite athletes.

Club Colombia Golf Championship, held every February, is also a noteworthy sporting event that is a favorite among bettors.

Biggest Local Tournaments and Events
Best Odds for Colombian Players

Best Odds for Colombian Players

When it comes to betting markets, it all depends on the sport. For example, in soccer, Colombians like to wager on the matchwinner, totals, handicap, and goalscorer. When it comes to cycling, most bettors wager on the race winner, stage winner, top finish, mountain king, and matchups.

As for the odds format, most sites offer all the three popular odds formats: American odds (Moneyline), European odds (decimals), and British odds (fractional). However, most punters prefer decimal odds as it's easy to calculate the payout.

Best Odds for Colombian Players
Payment Methods in Colombia

Payment Methods in Colombia

Most online bookies operating in Colombia are real money betting sites. That said, players need to deposit funds into their accounts to get in the game. So, what are the available currencies, and which payment gateways can Colombians use?

Well, the local betting sites have the Colombian peso (COP) as the main currency, but others avail international currencies such as the US dollar (USD), euro (EUR), British pound (GBP), etc. Besides the fiat currencies, some sportsbooks that accept Colombian bettors support cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Tether (USDT), and Litecoin (LTC), just to mention a few.

Regarding the payment methods, Colombian bookmakers avail a wide range of payment methods. Players can fund their accounts using popular credit and debit cards, such as MasterCard and Visa. Other forms of payments, including eWallets and mobile payment gateways such as Neteller, Via Baloto, Daviplata, Tpaga, Efecty, PayPal, Dimonex, Skrill, and the rest, are available.

When it comes to security, all the locally licensed and most of the international betting sites that accept Colombian players are safe. They are secured using the latest military-grade encryption, so players' data is always safe. It's, however, advisable to ascertain that, indeed, the site is secure before registering.

Payment Methods in Colombia
FAQs

FAQs

Is online sports betting legal in Colombia?

Yes. Sports betting is legal in Colombia. This is as long as bettors wager on sites licensed by the Colombian authorities. Bettors should have also attained the set legal gambling age.

Do bettors in Colombia pay taxes?

No. Players are not taxed for any money won on online betting. The only entities that pay taxes are the betting site operators. There's a 15% tax on gross wins and an additional 1% paid to the betting regulatory body.

Can Colombian players be penalized for betting on international betting sites?

No. Even though on paper, it is illegal to bet on offshore sites, there are no measures in place to prosecute punters who gamble on international platforms that the Colombian government does not license.

Are there bonuses on Colombian betting sites?

Yes. Colombians can take advantage of betting bonuses just like players from other countries. There are sites with no deposit bonuses, as well as deposit bonuses, among other goodies.

Which is the best betting site in Colombia?

Well. It's hard to call a winner. But the bottom line is that the best Colombian betting site is one that holds a valid license, has wide betting markets, high odds, and lucrative bonuses and promotions.

FAQs