Colombian gambling regulator provides details on proposal to regulate gambling ads

Coljuegos has requested new powers to regulate gambling advertising.
Coljuegos has requested new powers to regulate gambling advertising.

Coljuegos would be responsible for overseeing all gambling advertising in Colombia.

Colombia.- The national gambling regulator Coljuegos has provided more details on its plans to regulate gambling advertising in Colombia. It has issued a resolution that would give it responsibility for overseeing all gambling advertising, marketing, sponsorships and “any other form of commercial communication”.

The resolution, which will come into force if a Coljuegos-sponsored bill is approved by Congress, outlines advertising content guidelines, caps on spending and penalties for non-compliance. The resolution would require operators to introduce mechanisms to detect customers showing signs of gambling harm in order to avoid sending communications to these players. It also proposes new payment rules, which would only allow deposits to be accepted using pre-paid credit cards.

Regarding advertising guidelines, operators would be prohibited from including “false or misleading” depictions that promote gambling as being free or without risk. They would not be allowed to include testimonies from people who describe having benefited from gambling.

Ad placements in certain locations with a high presence of young people would be banned, and Coljuegos would require age restrictions for ads on search engines. Operators would also be prohibited from sending content to people who have self-excluded. As for sponsorship, only licensed operators will be able to enter into agreements with Colombian sports teams.

Spending caps for gambling marketing

The resolution proposes limits on marketing spend that would allow operators to spend only up 20 per cent of their projected gross gambling revenue (GGR) on promotional activities. In the first year, operators will not be able to spend more than COP9.28bn (€2.07m).

They will need to provide an annual advertising investment plan, and Coljuegos would be able to request quarterly marketing and advertising expenses to check compliance.

Earlier this month, Coljuegos published accounts for the period from January to August, revealing a 16 per cent increase in tax transfers from gambling operators. Tax payments reached COL $564bn (€125m), which contributed to COL $750bn (€166m) raised for the national health service, Coljuegos’ main social directive.

However, the regulator has warned that tax non-compliance remains a concern. President Marco Emilio Hincapie warned all licensed operators to comply with tax duties, claiming that “there are several operators that do not meet the requirements to obtain or renew their licences“.

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