The national gaming regulator in Colombia has approved online live dealer games after conducting a research and establishing that live games will supplement income, not reduce it.
Colombian Gaming Regulator Shields Companies from Fees
Coljuegos, the Colombian gambling regulator, has given the go-ahead to companies in the industry to carry over their traditional gaming operations online and launch live dealer casinos while the coronavirus pandemic lasts.
Colombia has run legal online gambling since June 2017 with the sector accounting for 13% of all gambling revenue and numbering 16 licensed operators in the country. Coljuegos has approved live dealer games based on studies encompassing Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States that have indicated that live dealer games can boost iGaming revenue rather than lead to dispersal of funds.
The regulator noted that the current restrictive measures imposed because of COVID-19 would also help the iGaming sector expand its clout. Live dealer games will still need to comply with regulatory norms, Coljuegos cautioned.
At the same time, the watchdog is pushing for financial measures that would help cushion the impact on the sector. As a result, concessionaires will be allowed to defer payment of fees due for March and April.
The grace period granted by the Coljuegos is six months. Online casinos will also get a 50% discount on fees they owe in March, April and May.
Gambling in Latin America on the Rise
Latin America continues to see an uptick in regulated gambling, with Brazil preparing to launch a fully regulated sports betting market. However, the country revisited previous targets for the size of the market, reducing the number of licenses significantly back in February.
At the time, Brazil was planning to issue a third round of consultation before producing a final draft around in late March. With the novel coronavirus reaching Brazil, however, these plans are now on the backburner.
Argentina is another expected big market in Latin America. Some of the brands to apply for a license in Buenos Aires, the only region within the country that would allow sports betting and gambling, include established giants, such as bet365, Betway and Codere LatAm.
However, following a proposal by the Loteria de la Ciudad (LOTBA), the country’s regulator, in late February 2020 to establish a number of online gaming agencies, Argentina has been fairly quiet on what the next step in the gambling-legalization process would be.