Many factors attract Colombians to online casinos, including the impressive variety of games available, hefty bonuses, and the fact that they can play their favorite games from anywhere in the world. These perks are augmented by the fact that Coljuegos, Colombia’s gambling authority, is constantly working to improve the online gambling environment in the country and approve new games for players.
With so much effort poured into improving Colombia’s gambling sector, the market is comparable to the European one, and some even think it will surpass it. This means players will have even more opportunities to enjoy their hobby, but it also means the competition between gambling operators will be fierce.
If you are considering opening an online casino in Colombia, now is the time to do it. You can take advantage of a young market and get the chance to establish yourself as a powerful name in the industry. Still, you have to make peace with the fact that opening an online casino will not be a child’s play. You will need to pour a lot of effort, money, and time into developing and improving your casino so that players will have a reason to keep gambling with you.
To help you understand the process better, we have put together a guide with 4 mandatory steps you need to take if you plan on opening an online casino in Colombia, or any country for that matter.
Understand the market you are about to enter
This is a step anyone that plans to open a business should take. If you don’t know the market you are about to enter, succeeding in it will be that much more difficult.
Gambling legality in Colombia has been a subject of discussion for many years now, but since the national eGaming Act was adopted back in 2016, things have gotten much clearer. Both online and offline casinos can operate legally in Colombia, provided that the operator gets a gambling license approved by the Coljuegos.
One year after the eGaming Act, the gambling market in Colombia started to grow, with more and more reputable casino providers making their way into the market. By 2017, the market generated a $60 million turnover, managing to attract players from all over the country. In the next two years, the market grew even more, reaching $1.4 billion by the end of 2019.
As competition grew stronger, online casino providers went above and beyond to provide players with more reasons to choose them instead of their competitors. Their efforts included launching new games, improving customer service, and adding new payment methods such as cryptocurrencies, which are becoming more and more popular in Colombia.
Learn as much as you can about Colombians’ gambling habits
You can consider this step part of the “get to know your market” process as well. If you want to launch an online casino in a competitive environment such as the Colombian gambling market, you need to know what Colombians like to play so that you can provide these games to them.
Over 55% of Colombians state they like to gamble on occasion and that online casinos are their favorite way to do so. And if we dig a bit deeper and try to find out what types of games they like, most Colombians will say interactive casino games such as slots, craps, and other table games. These are followed closely by poker, with all its varieties. The most popular type of online poker for Colombians are Texas Hold ‘em and three-card poker.
To complete your list of games to bring to the table, blackjack and roulette are also among the top choices for Colombian players, so you must include them as well.
Get a gambling license to legally operate your casino
After you have started putting together a plan to start developing your casino, you need to file for a license to enter the market. This license is provided by the Coljuegos and is mandatory for anyone that operates an online casino in Colombia.
When the eGaming Act was launched, Colombia became the first country in South America to regulate online gambling. The success of the market is attributed precisely to a well-put-together licensing framework, which ensured the market is a safe one for both casinos and players.
To get a license, you need to file an application with the Coljuegos. Your application will then get reviewed and accepted if you follow all the regulations in place, or denied if you don’t. Then, each year, the Coljuegos will continue to evaluate your online casino to make sure it does not steer from the rules. If there are any violations found, you risk getting your license revoked.
The costs of getting a license may vary, but it is worth noting that each year, besides a 15% gross tax income, online casinos also need to pay a $200,000 licensing fee.
Take into consideration other costs
Besides getting a license, you will also have to factor in other expenses associated with launching an online casino. These expenses include web development and hosting, which can easily exceed $10,000. The good news is that you will be able to use lots of free WordPress plugins to track and analyze the performance of your website.
You will also need to make a significant investment in gambling software to be able to provide your players with lots of new games they can explore. Software costs will vary depending on the type and number of games you want to purchase, but keep in mind that a full development package with personalized games can end up costing $100,000.
Last but not least, you will have to take into consideration marketing efforts as well, which can be quite costly. Set aside at least $1,500 every year for your marketing strategy, but consider the fact that the initial costs of developing a marketing campaign may be higher, especially if you are working with a powerful marketing agency.