Colombia’s national regulator Coljuegos has awarded the country’s first online gaming licence to Aquila Global Group.
The Medellin-based company will launch WPlay.co, aiming to build user base of over a million during the term of the contract, creating around 3,000 jobs.
Analysts believe the Colombian online gaming market could be worth as much as $8bn in revenue in its first year.
Coljuegos’ revenues increased 25 percent from 2015 to 2016, the largest growth in its history, driven by casinos and bingos.
The agency is hoping to increase this even further via the online licensing process and renewal of the contract to run the popular draw-based Baloto game.
The regulator has said it will continue to crackdown on illegal operators with as many as 320 gaming sites expected to be blocked in the coming weeks.
“We’ve blocked about 80 of the 320 websites that we have identified as illegal so far.” stated Coljuegos’ president, Juan Perez Hidalgo.
“We want people to have legal platforms where there is a guarantee that winnings will be paid.”
The regulator projects that it will issue between six or seven online gaming licences in total for 2017.
“We have about six to seven operators, both national and foreign, which are currently being certified by international laboratories and we expect will begin operations this year,” Perez Hidalgo added.