Colombia’s gambling regulator, Coljuegos, continues to step up its efforts against illegal gambling operations throughout the country. The latest moves focus on businesses operating out of Risaralda and Quindío, two departments that seem to have attracted a lot of black market business.
Two Venues Raided by Regulator and Police Authorities
The regulator targeted physical venues, seizing a total of 159 illegal gambling machines and equipment. There were four sports betting modules, 100 bingo chairs, and 55 slot machines retrieved from across the operations. Coljuegos needed assistance from the National Police to complete the raids and will now issue fines to the people behind the establishments for a total of COP4.8 million ($1,200).
Both venues raided had no official license to run gambling operations, giving Coljuegos a legal right to intervene and seize their property. The venues were not paying any tax from their gambling operations back to the government which puts them at odds with established regulation that expects operators to contribute tax.
Colombia has been tentatively regulating its gambling industry, introducing more forms of it and taking many options digital. Scratch cards, instant games, and online bingo are all part of the gaming makeup now and mostly as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic which left much of the country short on money for social causes and maintaining various public spending initiatives.
Colombia Beckons to Gambling Companies
Colombia has not only attracted unregulated gambling operators. In fact, GiG’s Sportnco platform announced it had signed a first sportsbook deal in the country last week. The name of the sportsbook was not shared at the time of the signing of the deal. This comes at the same time as Coljuegos reports an increase in the overall revenue coming from gambling in the period between January and April.
Latin America is developing quickly, and Coljuegos wants to make sure that regulation in its own country holds up. This is why the watchdog will play a crucial role in enforcing AML criteria and standards and work closely with authorities to make sure this is the case.
Meanwhile, Colombia continues to beckon to sports and iGaming companies with Yggdrasil recently launching its products on Rush Street Interactive-owned RushBet casino.