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 Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down

Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down
Origin: Clara Maria Suarez
Published: 2016-12-12

A good part of the coins with which thousands of Bogota citizens feed begging in the city ended up in those games. But the bulk of the market is moved by a perverse strategy, which went through creating a double addiction to the street people already consumed by drugs: that of gambling.

Part of the 'quota' for the mirrors, lights and mouths ripped from the cars trapped in the middle of the city were paid in the same coins used in the machines, as well as doses of drugs. Thus, the owners of the dreaded 'hooks', which they handled by equal sale of drugs, prostitution, murders and illegal games, recovered part of what they paid for the stolen car parts.

The profits were huge. Every day, hundreds of thousands of coins were taken in packages whose contents were calculated by weight.


Paradoxically, the product of the Bronx slots could be one of the least made up, since there was no authority that could control them. But across the country there are thousands that seemingly work under the rules, but are actually used to launder money from drug trafficking and other illegal activities

That is the explanation why in many village and city stores the owners of the machines pay up to 300,000 pesos (COP´s) per month of rent, regardless of whether the bettors are scarce or never arrive.


Police and Coljuegos, the state entity that controls gambling, have detected in recent years an increase of the devices in areas with high impact of micro-traffic. A month ago, Coljuegos and the Police of Cucuta seized 96 of these apparatuses. Several were installed in the transport terminal of this city. In Cartagena, they seized seventy-three.

In addition to laundering, there is a more worrisome hypothesis as to why mafias install thousands of these machines at a loss: a potential market is that of minors, who are also targeted by drug traffickers.

About the amount that this market moves there are no reliable calculations. But one fact can give an idea of its magnitude: since 2014, authorities have seized more than 11,000 slots. This year, there are 6,391. Its entrance of contraband to the country is another one of the chapters to establish. "What they are doing now is bringing them in scrap, or under the excuse of re-manufactured and have specialized sites to assemble them," said Colonel William Valero, deputy director of the Tax and Customs Police.

In Cordoba, the 'Úsuga' clan controls the illegal slot machine business. A section of the Police, the Gaula says that the gang forces the business owners to make space for their equipment, and when these are legal, it is usual for owners to pay vaccines between 10,000 and 15,000 pesos (COP´s) per day for each one. This year five criminals who were making these collections have been captured.

In the Eje Cafetero (Spanish name for a region of the country), the illegal group that monopolizes the illegal business is the dreaded band called “Cordillera”. In Medellin, in 2008 two officials of Etesa (entity replaced by Coljuegos) that investigated the mafias behind the slots, were assassinated. The 'office of Envigado' perpetrated the crimes and today, their heirs continue to profit directly or indirectly from what thousands of gambling machines produce in the communes of the city and in the municipalities of the valley of Aburra

In addition to nourish the coffers of criminals, these illegal machines bleed the health system, which has in gambling one of its main sources of funding. A year, the average tax generated by each legal machine reaches two million pesos (COP´s). And neighborhood business owners who are seduced by the idea of receiving some money by letting them install illegal machines, but actually they do not know that are playing with fire.

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Most read of 2019 #3 Does G-Tech and IGT also strengthen the approval of Slots Homologation in Colombia? 

Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down

The Homologation of Casino slots Machines in Colombia is added another wolf: IGT the multinational that came out of bankruptcy 5 years ago for the acquisition that made the Italian G-tech owns 67% and is the operator of the Baloto in Colombia and of similar games in various countries of the globe.

At the beginning of July, ValorAnalitik brokerage company published the fall in sales of the popular game, which was immediately replicated by newspapers such as and El Tiempo, giving an account of the low acceptance among the bettors of the rematch modality, who blame the disaster.

For the business world, it is not a mystery that both the Baloto operator and the one that commercializes the Slots are two different heads but of the same giant; and it is there where they loudly promote (according to the article in the 2orillas) that "An Italian the owner of the Baloto and the slots in Colombia".

You do not need to know much, after reading the homologation project disguised with the name of "reliability requirements of the slots" or as published by Coljuegos in your twitter account, I do not know if it was a slip because of lack of communication between your dependencies: "Technical Requirements Electronic Slots Machines " that your interest is to deliver the monopoly to a single company, technically removing all (os) us (os) with a proposal that is nothing more than the adaptation of how the Baloto terminals work , but applied to casino machines, something impossible to fulfill even by Manuel del Sol who is the driver of this crazy idea that obviously will not be possible to meet by existing and future equipment.

If IGT proclaims itself as the owner of the machines in Colombia, and Coljuegos publishes this project idea, it is logical to intuit that Coljuegos wants to control the machines as it does with Baloto, therefore it is better to deliver the Casinos and machines market. game, to only have a proponent that meets the requirements of both business units and thus increase the profits of IGT either selling, installing operating casino machines, or en route, for which they have a team of lobbyists they arrive at Coljuegos as in the living room of the house, or pressuring them to lower their taxes and give them more concessions to operate the baloto; that by the way when it was tendered the same thing happened: there was no one who came forward because the requirements had their own name.

Or I can think of something: they are diverting our attention so that we forget that taxes have not decreased and that the regulator is determined to justify it for any reason and at all costs. Arguing among other things that the Online is producing "a lot" for the type of control exercised; if so, will Juan B's advisory team not understand for a second that they are different moments in the history of the game in Colombia? What are two different ways to bet? What are two different scenarios? That you can not ask a slot machine to behave like an online game?

This is what IGT meant when it said in the interview to that "positive and innovative mechanisms have been evaluated to evolve the game options, which are being evaluated by our regulator Coljuegos". As Carlos Mario said "Retaliation or pressure from foreign companies, judge you" ...

2019 Most read #4 Coljuegos have excuses for down taxes, asking for not existing conditions in the current legal system 

Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down

On the occasion of External Circular No. 20191000000066 emanating from the office of the Presidency of Coljuegos, in which the localized gaming sector is informed of the interpretation that was made institutionally of article 59 of the National Development Plan -PND- (Law 1955 of 2019 ), and how it will be applied in relation to the formula for calculating operating rights and administrative expenses as of May 25, 2019, date on which the aforementioned Law was promulgated.


Many operators have thought about terminating their concession contracts in advance in order to start new contracts, with the idea that the new exploitation rights rates will apply for contracts signed after the PND publication date, based on the idea that remained in the air when Coljuegos expressed what concerns the principle of irretroactivity of the norm.

In other words, the feeling that Coljuegos left in a sector of the operators with the External Circular is that what was established in the PND would be applied for contracts signed after May 25, 2019.

Although from my point of view, this interpretation given by the entity is erroneous, since in tax law the principle of irretroactivity of the law is not absolute, since it must be harmonized with that of favourability; It is a lesser evil when compared to what was stated in terms of reliability.

Thus, the External Circular basically states that the other reason for not applying the PND is the lack of reliability in the processing of data transmitted to calculate the payment of exploitation rights. And this happens since Coljuegos has not yet issued norms that parameterize minimum standards to determine whether the transmission of data by operators is reliable or not.

If I can make a colloquial comparison, Coljuegos acts as the young and capricious wife who reprimands her selfless husband every Sunday for not washing the family car, knowing that even the couple has not bought a car yet.

In the same way the entity requires for the application of the PND that supposed conditions of reliability are met that are non-existent in the current legal system.

In that order of ideas, what was initially seen as a relief, due to the drop in fees that promulgated article 59 of the PND, has become a headache for operators on account of the interpretation so particular that Coljuegos He gave the rule, in the sense that it does not apply to contracts signed before May 25 of the currents due to the principle of non-retroactivity of the Law, but neither does it apply to contracts subsequently signed for issues of transmission reliability.

As regards, I think that the idea of some operators to terminate contracts in full execution to start new contracts is inconvenient, considering that they will not be able to apply what is established in the PND, and on the contrary they will generate administrative wear and financial to their societies.

This in broad strokes is the panorama we have today regarding the application of the PND and the External Circular issued by Coljuegos.

We know that the unions and some operators individually are taking administrative and judicial actions to achieve a favorable exit for all parties; We trust that this will happen as soon as possible.

* César Emilio Pacho Algarra is Legal Director of TECNASEG insurance placement agency specialized in compliance policies for games of chance and chance PBX (1) 236 3645-236 0834


The most read of 2019 #5 Coljuegos is exposing themselves to being forced to return the highest value liquidated for not applying the PND in Casinos  

Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down

Some may remember that on some occasion Dr. Leon Dario Montoya, raised in a column of opinion, that the contracts that were already running could not be applied the rate of exploitation rights with the amendment of Article 14 of the Law 1393 of 2010, but very much in spite of everything that we discussed and argued, it was applied to all by the contracts, even though COLJUEGOS, at that time headed by CRISTINA ARANGO, resorted to a series of legal and even ingenious resources, including He called the contract holders to sign an additional clause committing the operator to take advantage of the new regulation of MET's Online Interconnection System, which included the new form of settlement based on a percentage of revenues.



Well now the discussion returns and plays, only the other way around, now the entity hopefully does not intend to contradict its interpretation at that time, arguing that the current contracts must continue with the same method or formula for the liquidation of exploitation rights until its termination. and that the new tariff, which turns out to be more favorable for the concessionaires, only applies to contracts signed after the entry into force of the new rule that brings Article 59 of Law 1955 of 2019 or National Development Plan 2018- 2022


Here I try to explain some reasons why I do not think it is presentable or reasonable that eventually COLJUEGOS refuses to give immediate application to the new liquidation formula of Exploitation Rights (gross income summed from all MET entries of a contract minus the sum of all the prizes paid by all MET's during the same period):

1. Being clear that the principle of favoritism does not apply in tax matters, the Constitutional Court and the Council of State have already accepted that it be applied in state contracts to non-consolidated situations and for reasons of justice and equity.

2. It would not be applied retroactively, which is the clear prohibition, but in new fiscal periods that for the case of liquidation of exploitation rights has a monthly cut.

3. The rule did not establish periods of transition or phased application, therefore it is not given to the entity to try to create them against the principles of legality and equality.

4. It is clear and so has the Vice Minister of Finance and the Senator who led the reform, that the new norm has an objective of relief to safeguard the industry of those located that had been suffocated with tax surcharges, to give it a boost and apply principles of equity and encourage legality.

5. The principle of legality of the tax is imperative and the entity does not have legal floor to apply a "presumptive rate" understanding this as the floor that brought Article 14 of Law 1393 of 2010, when it imposed the application of the highest value and left the tariff of Article 34 of Law 643 of 2001 unaltered as a minimum payment.



Finally, it is worth briefly mentioning the pronouncements of high courts that I mentioned:


In Sentence C-527 of 1996, the Constitutional Court with a presentation by Judge Jorge Arango Mejía, was forceful in interpreting the philosophy of article 338 of the Constitution, indicating that if a rule benefits the taxpayer, avoiding that his charges be increased, in a general, for reasons of justice and equity, it can be applied in the same period without breaking article 338 of the Constitution ".


For its part, the Council of State, in 1998 with sentence No. 8331, fixed its position under which it considers that taxes are not more than a duty of all citizens to contribute to the State's burdens, therefore it cannot be considered that a tax rule can be applied retroactively wielding favorability "because taxes do not constitute a punishment, nor a tort to the taxpayer". This means that the application of a new tax law should be immediate.


It is to note that I bring up the meaning of taxation in a broad way to call taxes, fees, state fees and contributions.


Extra: Another thing that does not admit discussion is that the VAT tax should never be part of the base for the liquidation of the Exploitation Rights because this has been contemplated by several mandates that are in force, and now it is ratified once again by the Paragraph 2 ° of Article 59 of the new National Development Plan: "Paragraph 2 °. In no case the VAT tax will form part of the basis for calculating the exploitation rights provided in the following article. "


The other norms are Decree 427 of 2004, Article 1 that says: "Paragraph 2º. In no case shall the sales tax referred to in this article form part of the basis for calculating the exploitation rights provided for in Law 643 of 2001. " And Article 14, of Law 1393 of 2010, has the following content: PARAGRAPH 2o. In no case shall the VAT tax form part of the basis for calculating the exploitation rights provided for in the following article. "


The truth is that COLJUEGOS has always turned a blind eye to this and is coming an avalanche of claims by dealers to get back the highest value liquidated.


Taking into account that the entity has never allowed total freedom, as is due, for the settlement, declaration and payment, imposing through the so-called "suggested liquidations" its sacred will, has induced the concessionaire to pay more for this item, preventing First, the VAT value of each MET is discounted before paying the monthly value of the exploitation rights.


* Gloria Eugenia López is a specialist in administrative law and state contracting, leads several legal projects in regulation and advises regional entities.

End of the year - the important thing- 

Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down

In my time in this life I become increasingly convinced that the best gift is to serve and receive every action from the heart, at the end of the day what we receive is proportional to what we give.


There are few occasions when we inadvertently let custom impose itself on feeling, which sends the wrong message for not being honest and not expressing how we feel in an open way.


"It is author and is brought from far away, be very careful when you open it you can break it ... it's what hmm the kid gives him this year," the voice on the other side of the phone said with some anguish in a conversation I had yesterday about a gift I had been given.


To be honest I had to look for the answer very in the background and I could understand that the pressure of these dates made the Value of the Object prevail over the action itself; which gave rise to him sharing with you - who are from the house - this anecdote and from which I give some points:


  • Remember that others are a mirror where we surely see our own proceeding (clearly that's why I paid more attention to value, than to the action itself)
  • Let us thank the Universe for allowing us to be accounted for by other beings to pay homage to us, and whatever the present is, we must accept it from the heart.
  • Let us not try to see a background to a good deed, after all it is that: an action, and we are the ones who label it as good or bad as it suits us best.
  • Let's be honest with us themselves and express our feeling sendeanty in an open way, without bluntness without explanation, not everything has a why ... it just happens and that's it!


Over the years I have begun to understand that what is inside does not compare to what can be seen, and that the forms deceive but the essence does not.


It may not be the most convenient, but I liked to post this message and I hope that from it, you can take teaching, today I learned something too :


Reason See what's best for you,pride gagous, Heart See the important


On behalf of the entire Mundo Video Corp team and on my own, in this and as at any time of the year, I thank you for trusting us from the heart.


Happy Life!


German +


Gambling industry is an oxygen for the health 

Colombian Illegal Gambling, the industry that grows while others go down

Coljuegos. The salvation of the health programs and the increase of the sources of employment will come when the National Government calls all the industrialists of gambling to be legalized, by means of the implantation of a real, true and sustained obligation in certain sales .


Entrepreneurs should not be taxed with taxes, income, contributions and others, without the sales and profits generated by the tax base.


Law 10 of 1990, which established the rentier discretion of gambling, as a monopoly of the nation, regulations that companies had to pay 14 percent of the profits for the maintenance of health services. This rule of the year 1990, served as the basis for the birth of article 336 of the National Constitution, which authorized the creation of the monopoly of the games at the head of the Nation, because they were prohibited since 1.927, with the Extraordinary Decree No. 1986 issued by the then President of the Republic, Miguel Abadía Méndez.

Localized games are the biggest contributors to the health of low-income Colombians, and these small entrepreneurs do not have the capacity to pay 30 percent of a minimum wage per machine, when they lose or do not sell enough to cover the tax, it is damaged or people do not play it.


The PND is the salvation of the gaming industry, because the merchant will pay a tax resulting from the sales of his commercial activity, that is, he will pay a tax resulting from a sale.

In Colombia we talk about 400 thousand illegal machines, and I think they are more, let's take this figure, because in 2009, ETESA, announced in the Accountability, that there were 78,000 legalized machines. And a pronouncement of the DIAN was also known, stating that for every legal machine, there were 4,5 and more illegal in the country, and contraband.

We know that with the 12 percent regulated in the PND, the vast majority of illegal entrepreneurs will seek ways to legalize before COLJUEGOS.


This is highly beneficial not only for COLJUEGOS, but for the generation of more jobs and higher revenues for health programs. If COLJUEGOS, with 82,000 authorized machines, raises 182,289 million pesos, with 400,000 legalized it will triple its income, and operating expenses will be saved for the control of illegality, because the legal entrepreneur will control unfair competition and the Prosecutor's Office will be responsible for the clandestine ones, because evasion is criminal.

The gambling industry, as defined by Law 643 of 2001, must “be determined by luck, or chance” (art.5 °). And be framed in its principles: “a. Prevalent social purpose. b. Transparency. c. Economic rationality in the operation. d. Linking income or health services. ”


With the tools of the National Development Plan, COLJUEGOS, you will have excellent social and economic profitability, which translates into increased employment in the regions and abundant resources to prevent the closure of hospitals, posts and health centers, the death walk of poor people.

COLJUEGOS is required to administer the monopoly, and that the National Superintendence of Health and the Attorney General's Office control, because Evasion is Criminal.

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