Colombia Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla announced that in 2019, gambling contributed 0.2 percent of the country ‘s overall GDP, equivalent to around $460 m.
At Congresso LAFT America 2020, Carrasquilla said that gambling created more than 111,000 jobs, and last year the health and science sectors earned about $171 m.
The minister emphasised that gambling was one of the sectors that suffered the most during the pandemic and clarified that Legislative Decree 808 “focused on alleviating the pressure on gambling operators,” as stated by local media Dinero.
“The Government came up with a relief package to compensate for the fixed rate that they pay for their operations and the six-month postponement, as well as the measure that forced them to reduce the number of slot machines,” he added.
Carrasquilla also said the second quarter has traditionally been the worst for the local economy, but he highlighted the government’s work to mitigate the pandemic damage.
“So far, more than $7bn were provided from the public budget and another $10.8bn in credit guarantees in a context with a sharp fall in tax revenues. This implies an increase in public debt and a fiscal challenge that we will have to face in the short term.”
The minister also spoke about the sector ‘s steps to combat illicit gambling, and said local authorities would play an active role in combating money laundering.
“In recent years, Colombia has achieved all international standards in the anti-money laundering area,” he said.