Betting in Bogota

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With more than 7.3 million residents in the Capital District and over 10.7 million in its metro area, Bogota is easily the largest city in Columbia and second only to São Paulo, Brazil in all of South America. It is located on a high plateau in the Andes Mountains, where it serves as the seat of Colombian government as well as the country’s epicentre for commerce, education, culture, religion and politics.

Spanish conquistadors settled the area in the 16th century and the city’s main plaza, Bolivar Square, dates back to 1553. Today, Bogota sprawls in all directions, divided into 20 localities, or districts, that form an extensive network of neighborhoods. Residents of higher economic status tend to live in the north and northeast, close to the foothills of the Eastern Cordillera, while poorer neighborhoods occupy the south and southeast. Streets known as “calle” run perpendicular to the Cordillera, while numbered boulevards called “carrera” stretch out parallel to the hills.

Bogota is home to more than 30 casinos, making it one of the most gambling friendly cities in South America. Several of these venues are part of chains that are owned and operated by huge entertainment companies, the largest of which is the Winner Group. In fact, almost two dozen of Bogata’s gaming properties are controlled by this Group, which has differentiated them into brands.

Among these are the “Broadway Casinos” at seven locations around the city: Adino, Cedritos, Iserra, Metropolis, Unicentro, Centro and Plaza. Similarly, the brand known as “Casino Real Game” has eight branches: Centro, Fontibon, Jimenez, Kennedy, Neuvo Restrepo, Prado, Venecia and Neuvo Venecia. They are joined by two “Havana” properties, Havana Casino – Bogota and Casino Havana Bogota – Centro, as well as three Casino Caribe units: Centro, Unicentro and Plaza Americas.

Perhaps the largest and most popular of all the Winner Group properties is the Casino Hollywood Bogota inside the Centro Comercial Bulevar Niza on the north side of the city. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 3am and on Sundays from noon till midnight, its gaming floor features 160 gaming machines and 30 table games.

Also well known is the Casino Rock’n Jazz, just two blocks from the Hard Rock Café Bogota. It is open 24 hours a day, offering 150 gaming machines and 16 table games, including Texas Hold’em. And the Casino Rio has 126 gaming machines and seven table games, open daily from 10am to 1am. Players who are card-carrying members of the Winner Club receive credit for play at all of the city’s Winner Group properties.

Providing competition is another major chain operator, Crown Casinos, with four venues around Bogota, including San Rafael and Unicentro. Representative of these is the Crown Casino Palatino on Calle 140 just off Carrera 7. Its 13,454-square-foot gaming space contains 130 gaming machines and 14 table games, along with a bingo room. Largest of the group is the Crown Casino Zona T in Barrios Unidos, with 40,900 square feet of gaming space, 205 gaming machines and 15 table games.

Clearwater Leisure Limited, with gaming operations in Argentina, Guatemala and Peru, has established a foothold in Columbia with its centrally located Casino Carnevale Bogota on Carrera 7, just a few blocks northeast of Bolivar Square. Meanwhile, the two-level Rockefeller Casino on Calle 84 in Barrios Unidos is independently owned, offering Baccarat, Blackjack, Crazy 4 Poker, Roulette, Poker and Slots daily from 11am till 3am or later, except Sundays 3pm to 10pm.

Another independent, Casino Dorado Norte, is located in the Santa Barbara area off Avenida 19, open daily from 11am to 6am with 32 gaming machines and five table games. And one specialised card room in Bogota is Club Jacks, open weekdays from 3pm till 3am for Texas Hold’em, Omaha and other Poker games in its 2,600-square-foot gaming space, which also features a snack bar.

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