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 Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America
Origin: Angel Jimenez
Published: 2016-11-16

Last 25th of july the Regulations of internet operated games in Colombia was published and placed into action by resolution of the President of Coljuegos; which as most of you know is the public company that is in charge of administrating the monopoly of gaming and in such acts as a good medium to regulate such activities.

As well as the regulations the document of Technical requirements for internet operated games and the public data model of the system of inspection (equivalent to the data model of monitoring in spain) were published.

With the publication of these three documents and failing to publish the resolution that would establish the requisites to access the subscription of concessional contracts for internet gaming; COLJUEGOS has completed the process of regulating online gaming and layed the bases for the regulated development of these types of game in the Colombian territory.

The regulation of online gambling has been a long process and one in which COLJUEGOS has had to overcome not only the intrinsic difficulty of any regulatory task, but also the vertigo to place Colombia as the first country in its region to regulate online gambling. By doing so in a way that in my opinion leads to the start of a new market and incorporates ways and solutions that have shown to be successful in other conditions.

Much(and a lot of the good) of the new Colombian norms have como from Spanish regulation which are known to also have come and preceded from European regulations(mainly Italian and French).

As we say, the regulation of a global phenomenon such as online gaming requires study and evaluation of the solutions adopted by other jurisdictions, it requires innovation on issues that were not resolved by the various precedents jurisdictions or that have proven poorly resolved by these and, in any case, the precise adaptation of the measures to the particular circumstances of the country that regulates included.

In this process the new Colombian regulation has taken the best of the Spanish legislation and improved or prevented many measures that hindered or could even affect market development. In addition it has sought the engagement of all these measure in a very different legal and social environment from the Spanish. Only time will show if COLJUEGOS been successful with his work, but I am not mistaken in saying that in the purely regulatory aspect we have a magnificent legislation that is on the right track of a competitive market development, freedom of operators game, not to mention the public control of the activity and the protection of players.

With certainty Colombian rules of online gaming has included from the beginning an extensive catalog of games, of course, much more than that with which we started in spain five years ago and that only a few games were excluded ike, for example, betting on virtual events. It is without doubt more than enough catalog, which provides considerable scope for operators to design their offer and, moreover, if there were to prove insufficient, it is easy to innovate to COLJUEGOS.


The norms help avoid unnecessary authorizations and windows of opportunity for the obtainment concessional contracts, sufficing COLJUEGOS communication and providing the necessary certification for the operation of new games certifications once you have a contract.

The new regulation published by COLJUEGOS has opened the doors to what is sure to be a healthy development of the Colombian market for online gaming and the fact that they have already been made known to operators in other markets (primarily in the Spanish market technical solutions), greatly facilitate entry to many of them in a market that is already in its own right the gateway to online gambling regulated in Latin America.


Colombia is an attractive country with a population slightly under fifty million, with sustained economic growth and outstanding legal certainty. It is an important focus of investor attention in Latin America and, as a result of the new regulations on online gambling as well as the requirements still left to be subscribed for the signing of a contract that allows the operation of this kind of game, is a country where an operator from Spain can move its online operations with ease due to little investment costs and few operational changes.


The economic conditions of the operation are much simpler than in Spain and require much less effort from the operator that is usually required under the Spanish legislation, particularly in regards to guarantees that must be provided and initially placed in the environment of 180,000 euros. If to that we add some exploitment rights (for all practical purposes are the Colombian equivalent to the tax on gambling activities) 15% of net revenues (for games to return to the player over 83%), it is not difficult to see that this is a market that no operator should overlook.

Unfortunately, not everything could be good news and even with the favorable regulation, we find a significant drawback: the subjection of gaming activity to VAT (at a rate of 16%) in addition to the application windfall tax on winnings from games.

In both cases the problems come from the judicial-regulatory branches of Colombia, which through COLJUEGOS there have been several attempts at a solution, but without a doubt still remain troubling for any interested operator trying to partake in the new market. Due to this and without trying to minimize the impact both taxes present on the development of the game activities. Also it cant be said enough that its not a question about a novelty for Colombian citizens but a measure of the same nature would not have the same effects as it would in Europe. Although the VAT exemption would demonstrate a perfectly traced regulation it is still a great reglation that turns Colombia into the ideal place to start a future expansion for the operators currently in spain.


In short, Colombia is already the first Latin American country to regulate online gambling. It is the first that regulates and moreover, in this I personally express my opinion, the first country to correctly decide the path to follow. Only time will tell if, in addition to being a pioneer in online gaming regulation in Latin America, Colombia will also be the source of inspiration for future regulations in their environment.

I have no doubt that for technical and legal quality deserves it, but I am aware that taking the right path, the one that favors the citizens and the market is not always easy in the regulatory environment and much less in the framework of regulation play.

That has been the merit of COLJUEGOS

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Coljuegos and the resolution on advertising have many gaps that draw attention. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

On October 20, Coljuegos published what could be understood as the regulation of advertising for games operated on the Internet, the “Advertising Resolution” after a particularly short (5 days) public consultation, and which, with more than 200 comments on the first draft, was published definitively without a second round of consultation.


The Advertising Resolution has a suspensive effect until January 2024 for current operators and with immediate applicability for new operators, this being a strange distinction that could affect equality and contractual economy.


This type of regulations that aim to solve or prevent a problem are usually accompanied by technical studies that identify what needs to be resolved, but in this case, the regulation does not present any technical study, nor does it base its decisions on figures to indicate the problem. It limits itself to establishing a hypothetical situation based on the overwhelming possibility of advertising, without pointing out what the problem is that is generated.


That, given the overwhelming possibility of promoting and generating advertising through different physical and digital media, it is necessary to intervene in the scope of action of gambling operators with respect to the amounts, spaces and ways of advertising their respective gaming platforms. bets.”(sic)


Another lack of regulatory technique is the absence of definitions of the terms used throughout the Resolution, and those that are available are insufficient to understand concepts and statements that are included within the regulatory body.


It is striking how the Advertising Resolution (administrative act), a norm that within the Colombian legal system corresponds to those of lower normative hierarchy, exceeds its normative powers by attempting to regulate trademark law in Colombia. Trademark regulation is established in higher standards, international agreements—the Higher Standard on Industrial Property of the Andean Community—and the Political Constitution of Colombia.


The lower category standards must be consistent with the higher ones. The hierarchy of norms means that those of higher rank, with the Fundamental Charter at the top, are the source of validity of those that follow them in said hierarchical scale.


The purpose of this harmony is none other than to establish an order that allows regulating, according to the same axiological system, the different factual situations called to be regulated by the legal system. This is the connotation of the system that covers the order and that guarantees its internal coherence.


We find a contradiction with this hierarchical principle in article 5 of the Advertising Resolution, by attempting to limit the use of the brand of third parties that are not owned by the gaming operator or its business group. The wording of this article is ambiguous and contradictory with higher standards in trademark law. This continues when the rule prohibits mentioning or using another operator's brand. Currently in Colombia the national league is sponsored by an internet gaming operator.


These regulatory provisions clearly exceed the power of Coljuegos, since it is not an authority on trademarks and patents in Colombia. Regarding advertising budgets, the Resolution established investment limits based on the monthly/annual GGR, which today establishes that the higher the result, the more advertising budget can be had. In the case of new operators, it puts an investment ceiling for the first six months, which means that, if you are new, you will hardly be able to have an aggressive advertising campaign.


The rule in general terms has several regulatory defects that will surely be analyzed by the operators, above all, it should be reviewed by the same regulatory body, with the understanding that the provisions included will generate a decrease in the gaming industry operated over the internet. and therefore a decrease in the income that is injected into the health system in Colombia.


In 10 years of regulatory developments, this is the first time that industry actors have experienced a norm that tends towards regression and restriction and not growth with regulation. Finally, we find, with surprise, the specific similarity in various wordings of this norm with the Spanish Royal Decree 958-2020, a norm that, by the way, is currently being sued in the Spanish courts.


Taking advantage of the regulatory suspense that this Advertising Resolution has, we expect a review by the regulatory entity and that it submit the regulatory content to a new agreement with the industry that projects positive results for everyone.




Juan Camilo Carrasco, is a partner at Asensi Abogados and expert in gaming regulation and legal issues for the industry,

The objective of every social network: collect your personal data. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

Companies like Google, X, and Meta collect huge amounts of user data, partly to better understand and optimize their platforms, but mostly to sell targeted advertising. Although collecting sensitive information about users' ethnicity, sexuality or other identifiers poses a risk to individuals.


For example, earlier this year, Meta and the US Department of Justice reached a settlement after it was discovered that the company's algorithm allowed advertisers to exclude certain racial groups from seeing ads on topics such as housing, employment and financial services.


In 2018, the company was fined $5 billion, one of the largest in history, after an investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found multiple cases in which the organization did not protect user information, following an investigation into data shared with the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Meta has since modified some of these ad targeting options.


There is a very close relationship between the data collected about us and the automated tools used by platforms and other services, which often produce discriminatory results, and when that happens, there is no recourse other than litigation.”


Even for users who want to opt out of the voracious data collection, privacy policies remain complicated and vague, and many of them do not have the time or legal knowledge to analyze them.


At best, users can deduce what data will not be collected, “but in any case, the responsibility falls on them, who must scrutinize the policies to try to understand what is really happening with their information. “I am concerned that these corporate practices and policies are so vile and disconcerting that people do not understand what is at stake,”

What the left-wing government wants is to end the casinos. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

The resolution that was published regarding land use put us at the same point where we were 8 years ago, they made us run with a legal solution that seems to me more like a white-collar slap for all of us located operator(s).


A resolution that comes at a very very bad time; moment in which the change of mayors, governors, and the entire administrative branch is going to begin and that, according to what is read, those of us who have a pending procedure - as in my case - are going to have four months to contribute it, that is, November, December, January , February… complicated, which outgoing official works or which incoming official gets soaked?


Or, chronicle of a new bloodletting: they sign us but for sure will ask for money under the table.


Inconvenient and puts us on the ropes and clashes with what the same resolution says in Article 3. Beginning. 11. By virtue of the principle of effectiveness, the authorities will seek to ensure that the procedures achieve their purpose, and, for this purpose, they will remove purely formal obstacles ex officio, they will avoid inhibitory decisions, delays or delays and they will clean up, in accordance with this Code, procedural irregularities. that are presented, in pursuit of the effectiveness of the material right that is the object of the administrative action.


I feel that it is a very convenient justification to get out of the scandal that they started creating, for something that is exactly what is happening: the entity agreed at the time to something in view of the moment of misinformation that reigned around those located and all ( we) act; that there was no resolution that made it official, I don't know; but now the current presidency of Coljuegos is doing the same: it accepts what was contributed and filed, but it is NOT applying the principle of good faith: I believe it but I don't believe it.


This is how climate change affects players. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

For both traders and bettors, unreliable weather can and will affect how markets are priced, how sporting events are run and even how people choose to bet.


So what are some of the likely ways that climate change could impact sports betting and what can operators and their customers do to mitigate these issues?


Arguably the clearest way that climate change affects sport is by introducing another uncertainty variable. Event cancellations and postponements are likely to increase, disrupting betting calendars, odds-setting processes and risk management.


Player performance can be affected in unpredictable ways, and even changes in the playing surface (think hard or soft ground in horse racing) can have an impact on the outcome, posing challenges on both sides of the playing market. bets.


Then there are issues like strong winds; Let's take golf as an example. Strong winds during a golf tournament open up the course, making the outcome much less predictable, a problem for both bookmakers and bettors. Or heavy rain during an outdoor event, which can result in a more slippery surface for sports like football, or a heavier surface for sports like rugby.


The ways in which weather can affect sport are multiple and by extension this means a significant impact on betting markets and the sports betting industry as a whole. People are likely to be more at home, or indoors, and perhaps more focused on sports and finding ways to entertain themselves.


But, conversely, customers at betting sites, casinos and bingo sites are less likely to gamble when temperatures rise. People tend to spend more time outdoors, meeting friends or, alternatively, seeking refuge from the heat in the most extreme conditions; They don't really feel like betting on sports. This is how climate change affects players (and their decisions)


Climate change is happening and will continue to cause problems for the sports betting industry for years to come. The future almost certainly looks different from the past, due to rising temperatures, more extreme weather patterns, and greater unpredictability in climate. With much of sports betting dependent on reliable, programmable and often outdoor events, it appears that the risk of cancellation and disruption will remain for some time.


While this poses challenges for sports betting operators, they are not insurmountable. With early adaptations and greater reliance on technology and data, these are issues that can be overcome and ultimately taken into account as another variable when setting quotas and pricing in markets.

The answers to the biggest questions are often found in the smallest things. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

In regulated markets, online growth has come through channel shifts from retail, driven both by the arrival of new products, such as in-play, and higher-margin inventions, such as online matched betting. the same game.


It has often been driven by newly regulated territories that offer the potential promise of “easy money.”


Sports betting often works as an acquisition funnel for casinos. As a result, little attention is paid to the quality of prices, as they have long been replaced by a marketing strategy driven by bonuses and promotions, supported by a tendency to discard expert bettors who do not prove to be recreational. in nature.


Rising tides lift all boats. In the context of looser regulation and cheaper revenue costs that characterized the industry 10 years ago, there was a perception that this way of treating betting odds as “content” was enough to drive long-term growth.


"The answers to the biggest questions are often found in the smallest things"


The problem many traders have now is realizing that the tide has gone out. Macroeconomic conditions are more difficult, the internal business model they are following is clearly failing and there is a lack of options available for bookmakers to pivot due to a fungible supply chain.


Seemingly with every passing week, another carrier pulls out of its US exposure, due to its inability to make the "marketing-led" model pay off, especially when there is no product differentiation to support it. distinguish them.


Average prices, coupled with a lack of scale, mean that all but the largest operators can no longer survive. Even the UK's largest operators are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve growth in the face of strict affordability controls.


In markets with little historical data to inform prices, or very little liquidity to form the market, it is the information that can be extracted from a client's behavior that is extremely valuable in optimizing your price.


As a trader, if you are willing to bet larger against a more qualified customer base because you have much greater price certainty (not only in singles but also in multiples and accumulator bets in the same game), then you are using a weapon that its the competition can't match.


Similarly, having that information available, and known only to you, in a market that is liquid (where a small difference in price can generate large additional volumes) becomes a method of gaining significant market share.


Accessing strong global liquidity, adjusting prices based on the specific information your clients provide you, and then optimizing your position in your local market based on your proprietary information, is the only long-term business model that will keep you afloat. to many operators in increasingly turbulent times.

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