World Cup: Colombia expects a 65% increase in betting compared to 2018

Colombia World Cup Betting Uptick
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The FIFA World Cup will significantly increase sports betting revenue in Colombia, according to a new report from the local news organization El Tiempo. The tournament is not only favoring the number of daily bets but also the average spend per transaction.

César Augusto Valencia, President of the local gambling regulator Coljuegos, explained that November and December will experience growth “driven by sports betting”, which normally covers 67% of the total offer.

Colombia finished 2021 with a total of 5.4 million registered players, according to official data from the regulator. In 2022, however, the South American country expects one of the biggest jumps in its history: by August, Coljuegos had already registered 7 million players among its 17 licensed companies, approximately 1.6 million more than the previous year.

This number is very close to the increase that Colombia experienced at the beginning of the pandemic, when the industry went from 3.7 million registered players in 2020 to 5.4 million in 2021, or an approximate increase of 1.7 million.

Taking these figures into account, and the interest in the sports betting market, all roads lead to 2022 once again breaking a registration record, mainly due to the World Cup fever.

The World Cup also boosts the average daily spend

The payments platform PayU Latam, which already works with most licensed bookmakers in the country, estimates that the average daily spend of the entire market in Colombia before the World Cup was $649k.

After the start of the most important soccer tournament at a global level, that number rose 84% to $1.19m.

It is particularly interesting that these results have been achieved despite the fact that Colombia failed to qualify for the World Cup, something the national team achieved in the 2018 edition.

Moreover, the number of daily bets increased from 55k to an average of 100k, and PayU Latam estimates that this 81% increase will sustain throughout the World Cup.

Carlos Fajardo, Marketing Manager of PayU Latam, said: “We increasingly see how Colombians feel calm and confident around sports betting”.

Additionally, Coljuegos also expects sports betting to generate around $35bn in 2022, a 65% increase when compared to what Colombia experienced in 2018, when FIFA hosted the event in Russia. Sales from 2021 to 2022 would also increase by $2m.

In regards to exploitation rights, it is expected that in 2022 the number will rise to $51.9m, approximately $13.6m more than in 2021.

Although the Colombian market is constantly evolving, mainly because of the interest of both the regulator and the Government to lead an innovative industry, the country currently has a clear dominant company when it comes to market share: BetPlay is in charge of 51,43% of the market, with more than 4 million registered users.

Wplay and Codere show up on the list in the second and third position with 14,55% and 11,79%, respectively, while Fecoljuegos also estimates that YaJuego and Rushbet follow with 5,27% and 4,76%. Betfair and Rivalo are the other two biggest companies with 4,34% and 2,17% of the market, respectively.

Coljuegos’ projections

At the end of November, the regulator shared its financial report from January to October 2022, a period in which the industry experienced a 52% year-on-year growth, reaching the $11.4m figure.

“The gambling industry has shown its resilience in the face of the adversities of the Colombian economy. This is a result that shows the strength of the sector as a legal and responsible entertainment activity that contributes to the economy in the midst of a situation that’s not easy for productive activities,” said Valencia.

“We’re pleased that so far this year, the industry has reported growth in the number of bets and exploitation rights. We have the expectation of ending the year on a very positive note, taking into account that we have events like the World Cup in Qatar,” he said.