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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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Religious mobilization against casinos was of no use, Brazil goes ahead with gambling and Lula has a test by Fire. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

On the eve of the vote, the mobile phones of several parliamentarians were bombarded with a video of Pastor Silas Malafaia. He called on evangelicals to put pressure on CCJ members, stating that “two-thirds of these senators will vote for re-election in 2026” and threatening to denounce anyone who voted in favor of the project in the elections.



The CNBB (National Conference of Brazilian Bishops) also joined the discussion by sending a public note to Catholic senators. Thus, the note warned about the moral and social damage of betting. On the morning of the vote, Senator Eduardo Girão's (Novo-CE) office mapped the votes and concluded that there was enough support to block the proposal. Girão, one of the opposition leaders, quickly withdrew his request to postpone the vote. He stated that it was necessary to make it clear to society how each senator thought about the issue.


Then, senators who previously supported the release of the games, such as Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM) and Rogério Carvalho (PT-SE), began to ask for the result to be postponed. According to Senator Carlos Viana (Vamos-MG), the parliamentarians realized that they “will lose” if they vote in favor.


It was Lula who ended bingo in Brazil [in 2004, after suspicions of corruption]. If there is any ethics left in this government, let it show it now."


The project has been discussed in the National Congress for more than 30 years. Despite attempts to move forward, the opposition of the evangelical group and conservative sectors has always been an obstacle. But, in recent years, the international lobby has grown and become stronger, promising investments of billions of dollars. MultigameLINK At that time tax collection began to be attractive.


The current text allows the creation of casinos integrated into leisure complexes, such as hotels, shopping centers and restaurants. The proposal authorizes up to three tourist casinos per state, depending on the population and territorial area. But only São Paulo, with more than 25 million inhabitants, could install three resort casinos. Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, with populations between 15 and 25 million, could have two casinos each. Amazonas and Pará, except for territories with more than 1 million km², could also have two casinos each.


The other states and the Federal District would have the right to one casino-resort each. Therefore, if approved, the proposal would legalize gambling, limiting the installation of one for every 700,000 inhabitants per state. Rio de Janeiro, with 16 million inhabitants, could open up to 22 gaming establishments.


The bingo houses would operate in physical, electronic and video bingo formats, the latter being limited to 400 machines per establishment.


The accreditation limit will be one bingo house per 150 thousand inhabitants per city. While territorial betting establishments could also operate bingos and video bingos. Given the uncertainty of the scenario, two government senators stated that the Lula (PT) government must define a position on the proposal. “The PT was always against it. It was Lula who ended bingo in Brazil [in 2004, after suspicions of corruption]. If there is any ethics left in this government, let it show it now,” said Girão, the senators demand the government's position on casinos

Sports betting the worst has already begun 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

Sports betting, suspended soccer players and teams, rigged championships, scandals the order of the day are the daily news lately. In Chile and other countries in the world, the sponsorship of teams by betting houses is distrusted, because it is not entirely unusual to think that some ally with each other and end up favoring a particular bet.


In Europe, especially in Spain, match-fixing is fought by small clubs that have been discovered and where one or two players have finally been personally punished, which is not a deterrent to prevent Premier League matches from being fixed. league.


For its part, the Bundesliga is doing everything in its power and knowledge to closely follow the matches, with a very restricted regulation of sports betting but which does not guarantee full transparency of the results.


But not only he soccer; A few weeks ago, tennis player Younes Rachidi was banned for life for allowing himself to be beaten at will and collecting betting dividends. Bárbara Gatica Avilés Chilean tennis player suspended 3 years; Premier League top scorer Ivan Toney is facing a ban for illegal betting… and the list goes on. In Colombia we are not the exception and Llaneros has been accused of a shameless arrangement to favor a result.


In a column published by Dr. Hernán Peláez, he commented: Thank goodness here, Coljuegos gives a license to betting houses. But I don't know if it monitors the exercise and the yields of these operations and health aid are publicly known —and should be— and education. Or does anyone know? to get out of my ignorance.


I answer: if Coljuegos does financial monitoring BUT it is time for Coljuegos to start a crusade in pursuit of Fair Play and be the guarantor of fair play and prevent soccer from being used to launder money through betting; His function, among others, is control, not just the collection of money; he has to see where he comes from, and that is the task he must take on.


Evert Montero and his self-regulation strategy in the game. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

What do you mean by the need to have adequate communication and strategy by industry operators?


It is about strategies not focusing only on the brand, a product, or a particular company. Obviously, that is part of the development of the industry, of the individuality that you must have as a brand, but when I talk about strategy it has to do with a much broader 360, where you really consider all the variables that affect the industry in general, not just something. So, I invite companies to get together, review how they are investing, because you also must invest in advertising, in marketing, in all these issues, but also in relationships, in image, in industry positioning.


Why do you consider it necessary to have a relationship with the industries associated with gaming?


We must be much more open. Our relationship must go a little beyond what the activity of games of luck and chance is, we must have a much broader panorama and see who is involved due to some circumstance or another, not only from the sector. In the case of Colombia, we have to look at the State, the Government, the Legislative Branch, in the private sector, the banking sector, the insurer, the control bodies. The different sectors, because the regulator one knows controls it, regulates it and works with the development of the activity, but there are many other instances in which we must participate and participate in spaces where the message of the industry can be taken to another level.


Recently, he had a meeting with the Colombian Banking Association. What can you tell us about that meeting? This activity, I don't know if in the world, but in many countries, there is resistance to the banking sector, and we have to see how we show them how we give them the guarantees so that they open the door to the sector in a broader way.


What did the “self-regulation” project presented by Fecoljuegos consist of?


Our responsibility is not to stay and see how they regulate us and in what way, whoever is going to regulate us, be it the State, the government, the regulator, whatever body it may be. We have to be proactive and in the case of Fecoljuegos we work on the issue of self-regulation, with the media with how the excess and advertising of online platforms is affecting spaces that should be familiar and where there are children, how we should invest not so much money in advertising but in other types of social issues, generating different options so that there is peace of mind for the public around the issue of inviting people to bet.


We put all these issues into a code, we hired a larger self-regulation company in Colombia, and they created a code in which we built with the operators and businessmen some rules where one adjusts to having certain considerations to respect family schedules, which in all the sites do not have betting information, there are alerts so that it is done responsibly. Basically, it is a code focused on social responsibility and responsible gaming. Here I also call for control of illegality, which is a great risk that the industry has.

Casinos in Colombia, it is not a good time to invest in expensive equipment, there are no guarantees. 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

A week ago I was in Medellín and I don't know if I'm the only one, but when I'm in another city I usually walk around machine shops to see “what's new or strange”; To be honest, I do it more to see how the market is and I was surprised to see that what all the machine sellers say is true: a market saturated with products that rotate every six months and that become obsolete with the arrival of a better machine. in the place next door.



That is why international sellers prefer the mountain capital to do their launches and garage sales.


The paisas (name given in Colombia to people born in Medellin) fell into the consumerist trap that ultimately makes them work for companies that offer two-year loans, prices in dollars that “since it is on credit they don't feel like it,” but that perversely end up leading the operator into a vicious circle where they end up quota number 16 out of 24 and production has fallen so much that they must update a new game for a price sometimes of 3rd PART OF THE VALUE OF THE EQUIPMENT.


I saw in Medellín that in the most "perrata" place - as the Paisas say -, one can find in a corner state-of-the-art machines that no one seems to play, but that make their owners feel the happiest because they are fashionable and the They make you feel first world.

Possibly some fell into the trap, due to arguments; But without a doubt the Paisa operators have been getting on this train that finally ends up reducing their profits at the end of the year.


Updating equipment is very important but do the math so you don't pay the price later. Could it be that many operators have not realized that there are more economical ways to decorate their living room?


Tribal Casinos - Economic Giants beyond Las Vegas 

Coljuegos first on regulate Online gambling in South America

Native American casinos, otherwise known as Indian Tribal casinos, have long had a major influence on gambling - especially in the US and, for a long time, these were the only establishments where it was legal to gamble, outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Indeed, there are Indian gambling establishments in over 50 percent of US states (29 in total), and all of these can be found on tribal-owned land, though as a side note, while this land is sovereign, it doesn't necessarily mean that all casinos that are found on tribal land are run by Native Americans.


What many people do not necessarily realize, is that Indian casinos are big business. Furthermore, the annual revenue that is generated by tribal gambling establishments significantly exceeds the figure that the entire Las Vegas strip churns out. In 2021, Native American casinos recorded a GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) of $39 billion - over five times more than Las Vegas, which stood at $7 billion.

There are some misconceptions relating to tribal casinos, with many people believing that to enter one of these, you must be of Native American origin - this couldn't be further from the truth, and, in fact, there are those who prefer Indian casinos.


It is understood that the population of Native Americans in the US stands at 6.79 million in 2024 (roughly 2.9 percent of the entire US population). Furthermore, the vast number of Native Americans are considered 'poor', which essentially suggests that they do not have the means to use tribal casinos.

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