Coljuegos, the Colombian gambling regulator, has successfully blocked 1,577 unauthorized gambling websites targeting the country through tailored gambling offers and incentives to local players. This makes one of the biggest numbers of blocked websites by a gambling regulator worldwide. Even the Australian Media Communications Authority (ACMA) has presently blocked close to 600-odd illegal operators and affiliates over the past four years.
Coljuegos Determined to Act Against Illegal Gambling
Coljuegos, though, has tripled this record in the first half of the year alone, the watchdog said. The websites were blocked in the first six months of the year for the period ending on June 30. The regulator acted both online and across the land-based sector, confiscating 1,441 pieces of illegal gambling equipment and carrying out 188 enforcement operations against offenders.
The regulator also reported increased revenue collection with the country raising COP359.7 million in tax revenue from gambling, up 22.1% on a year before. The bulk of this money was allocated to the Colombian social security system, with some COP224.7 million earmarked for this, the regulator said during the half-year Public Accountability Hearing which tracks the work of the regulator and the gambling industry in general.
Coljuegos president César Augusto Valencia Galiano welcomed the results and said that the regulator has played a key role in innovating the industry and leading to its digitization and with it, opening new revenue channels. Coljuegos has also made it possible for businesses to report their operations easily, Galiano noted. The online gambling sector remains ahead of land-based operations in the country, with the latter contributing COP151.1 million over the surveyed period, still a 33% increase.
While no exact data about how much revenue is flowing outside the country due to illegal gambling operations, the regulator is determined to continue taking enforcement action against the black market.