Columbian gambling regulator Coljuegos has announced the award of the country’s first online gaming licence to Medellin-based WPlay.co a subsidiary of the Aquila Global Group.
The platform estimates an investment of about 15,000 million pesos in the next three years of operation and expects to reach 1,000,000 registered users during the term of the contract, creating around 3,000 jobs.
Coljuegos president, Juan B. Perez Hidalgo was keen to stress that this is the first of many operators to receive licences: "We want more operators to obtain authorisation from Coljuegos to achieve a strong sector and tune in with the new technologies."
Sources at Coljuegos expect that the newly-regulated Columbian iGaming market could generate as much as $8bn in revenue from companies entering the market in the first year, a figure which they estimate will increase as the market expands.
The news coincided with the announcement of a crackdown on illegal gambling website operators by Coljuegos officials, who expect to block as many as 325 web pages over the coming days.
Pérez Hidalgo added: "With this initiative we seek greater resources for the health of Colombians, expanding the portfolio of games through innovative tools and tuning with the trend towards greater use of new technologies in the world.
"We are aware that the fight against illegality is not an easy task and less so with regard to technological platforms. That is why we are working in an articulated way with the National Police and the Ministry of Defense."
Website operators who are not licensed but who are compliant with the financial, technical and legal requirements established by Coljuegos may operate games of chance online by signing a concession contract with the regulator.