Colombia set clear path to legal gaming

With the legalisation of the sector, Colombian authorities seek to cut off unauthorised gambling.

Colombia.- National Gaming Board, Coljuegos and the Colombian Justice Department are focused on ending illegal gambling in the country, through recent regulations. Once gambling, lottery and horse racing were legalised this year, the main target is to shut down the businesses that currently operate without licenses.

Colombian authorities have determined strict penalties for illegal operators. Fifteen illegal slot machine owners were sentenced to four years in prison and to pay a fine of $196.5 million Colombian pesos –US$66,500– each. The National Federation of Merchants –Fenalco– and Coljuegos admitted that there were more than 2,000 illegal gambling operators in Bogota running unauthorised slot machines.

To stop the major problem and developing a clean gaming industry, the First Criminal Circuit court in the Chinchiná municipality released a stiff sentence to illegal operators, who can face two-year prison sentences and fines over US$32,000. Coljuegos has strengthened the position by stating that “taking part in the operation, development and commercial use of electronic slot machines, casino tables, bingo, illegal sports betting and other games of chance without permission and / or authorisation by the entity” will be condemned as well.