Colombia gaming writer Edwan Benavides is a friend of GamingMyJob and we sat down to speak about his iGaming career dream, life in Malta, and why he is fed up with Netflix. The 34-year-old ex-journalist from Bogota feels excited that Colombia is playing a leading role in the LATAM region because of its gaming regulation and legal framework.
Background from Colombia
I come from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia and one of the most important cities in the world economically speaking. A big city with big problems but with beautiful people and different opportunities! With over 7 million inhabitants, Bogotá is an important city for the LATAM region due to its economic strength attracting global companies. Being the financial and commercial heart of Colombia also brings insecurity as many people go to our capital in search of opportunities, they come from other cities, even from other countries. When they can’t find work, they decide to look for other ways to get money, but those ways are not always legal.
A professional life in media
In Colombia I had a good experience working in an international news channel, dealing with important issues at the national and international level, looking for experts for each topic who would contextualize us on the particular topic at that specific moment.
We worked with the most important communication companies in the world such as Reuters, BBC News, RCN News, ReporterosReporters Sin Fronteras, and other communication channels, mostly in the United States and Mexico. It was a great experience and I was able to acquire useful skills for my professional life which later gave me job opportunities in Colombia gaming.
I have always been involved in media and content, and during my career, I have been getting the opportunity to work as a social media manager and writing all the time on different topics. I also took an early interest in SEO strategies and different digital tools to improve my work and I felt I was able to add value to each company I have worked for as a journalist, social media manager, content editor, and later on as an affiliate marketing assistant in the Colombia gaming market.
From Colombia gaming to Malta
Quite a change as I left a country of 52 million people to arrive at a small island in the Mediterranean Sea in October 2017. I came here to study English and improve my communication skills for the next 6 months, but I stayed on as I knew it was very important for my career. I’ve worked in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, construction, and so on while looking for iGaming career opportunities in Malta.
I kept in touch with Colombia gaming companies and I have done freelancing as a casino content writer and affiliate manager assistant.
Life in Malta is good because you can meet a lot of people from other countries and experience different cultures. The locals are friendly, foreigners feel welcome and for me, as a Colombian, I think the Maltese traffic is quiet and easy to handle. Ha-ha!
However, being a Colombian and a non-EU passport holder has been difficult. Many companies here are looking for my iGaming expertise, but most of the specific roles are not available or the companies are not able to be sponsors so I can obtain a VISA. That’s just frustrating.
The first taste of online casino
I have been involved with Colombia gaming for the last five years. In Colombia, I worked for an iGaming company called 24win.com as a content manager and social media manager, and while being in Malta I’ve been a freelance writer for Grandesganadores.com. I enjoy writing online casino reviews, publishing information about the latest casino bonuses, preparing press releases, and offering sports betting tips on social media.
As an affiliate manager assistant for Affnetwork.pro I was managing the CRM, contacting gambling companies, and negotiating deals as we were working with companies such as Betobet, Betoboro, Bodog, Rivalo, and others.
“Content writing is passion. It’s like a relationship.”
You have to be passionate about what you’re doing. You know how to capture the readers’ attention and make them want to read more and more. It’s like a relationship. Sometimes I play online casinos because I need to know how the different games work and I have sat at LIVE poker tables, placed sports bets on big football matches, etc. As a writer, I have to be updated on Colombia gaming market trends, latest news, regulations and compliance, and SEO strategies as talented content candidates are being asked to write about any topic.
The future of Colombia gaming
We Colombians love gambling, it’s part of our culture. I’m not surprised that we have seen tremendous growth in its online gambling sector since Colombia became the first country in South America to legalize gambling. In 2017 Wplay. co was the first operator to receive a valid eGaming license from Colijuegos. Colombia has a fully regulated online gambling industry with a government-approved licensing commission, and it will influence other countries in the LATAM region on how to regulate the framework in online gaming.
There are several casinos and websites run by domestic and foreign operators and I believe Colombia gaming will play a major role in the Latam región when it comes to offering online casinos, sports betting, and poker.
There are many regulated companies in Colombia, Betplay is one of them and perhaps the most important today, since it is the official sponsor of the national football top league Categoría Primera A, commonly referred to as Liga BetPlay Dimayor. Wplay, Betsson, Rivalo, and Betfair, are other companies that operate and are renowned in Colombia.
Football is our favorite sport, but we also love basketball, Formula 1, Tennis, and Baseball.
Netflix causes controversy in Colombia
What can I say? Netflix produces entertainment for its viewers and Narcos is a series that stereotypes and glorifies the drug conflict. It’s about marketing, rating points, and making profitable business but that’s how the world goes. Pablo Escobar played a terrible part in Colombia’s history through fear, corruption, threats, and killings.
It was a chapter that we prefer to leave in the past. I’ll stick to my content writing and coffee. Colombian coffee.
Please feel free to contact Edwan Benavides on Linkedin if you have questions about Colombia gaming, casino content writing, or what to see in Bogotá.