Legal gambling raises $2.5bn for Colombian healthcare

By Oliver Rudgewick

Legalised gambling has raised $2.5bn in taxes in Colombia over the last six years, contributing considerably to the Subsidized Health System for Colombian citizens.

Coljuegos, the country’s gambling regulator, said: "We are reiterating to the country the message that Coljuegos established as its slogan: 'Playing legal is betting on the health of Colombians,' because throughout the institutional management, efforts to raise awareness among Colombians of supporting legality in games of luck and chance allowed us to reach the most important achievement: generate more resources for the health of Colombians.”

Pérez Hidalgo, Coljuegos president, said: "Not only we can show a growth of 44% in the collection for exploitation rights that finance the health sector, also the development of an industry that contributes with the payment of taxes, which is governed by statutes and regulations and that today must be cataloged as a sector of the national economy that contributes more than $2bn.” 

Land-based gaming in casinos and bingo halls contributed 60% of the revenue at $1.5bn; online gambling has also contributed $43m up to May 2018 from the country's 12 legal operators.

Alongside the legalised market flourishing, Colombian authorities have also seized 21,821 unlicensed games, leading to the arrests of 33 illegal operators.

A total of 419 illegal gaming websites have also been shut down.  

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