Juan B Pérez Hidalgo, President of Colombian regulator Coljuegos, has revealed to La República that a live casino vertical could start operations in June in order to help the gambling sector.

Trade body Fecoljuegos also published a complete report on the economic effect that the closure of bingos and casinos has had throughout the country. According to the report, the lack of income resulted in a $15m loss in contributions to the health sector from licensed operators.

The federation, which unites the majority of the authorized companies in the country, insisted that a land-based vertical is the one that will generate the most resources for the state. Although the government has allowed some sectors to reopen, casinos and bingos still can’t restart their operations.

“The 365 concessionaires who are authorized to operate 2,765 establishments, represent more than 60% of the revenue that Coljuegos perceives in taxes. In 2019, this vertical sent around $100 million to the health sector and $45 million from taxes to the public finances,” explained Fecoljuegos President Evert Montero Cardenas.

“Operators are looking for ways to reduce expenses in order to guarantee employees’ payrolls and protect the 60,000 jobs that this sector generates. We also have to mention the lack of access to financial institutions, since they’re not granting credit lines for the gambling industry.”

In addition, the official statement revealed that the representatives of the land-based sector of casinos and bingos in Colombia hired a biosecurity consultant “to make a protocol with the sanitary measures required by the Ministry of Health, adjusted to the gambling halls.” The staff is also being trained “to build confidence among players.”

Operators will be able to offer live casino after Coljuegos approved the vertical in late April. The president shared the news at the SBC Digital Summit, during the LatAm Market Day panel that focused on Colombia’s regulations.

While the challenge is to integrate the land-based operators in the live casino vertical, the mandatory confinement will help online operators attract an audience that was previously unaware of it.