Colombia Moves to Block Unregulated Online Gambling Sites
Colombia’s new online gambling regulator Coljuegos has blacklisted 325 online gambling sites and ordered ISPs to begin blocking them in the country.
The move comes even as the regulator handed out its first gambling license to Wplay.co, a subsidiary of Aquila Global Group, a slots operator based in Medellin. It’s believed to be the first regulated online gambling brand in all of South America.
The blacklist includes some 325 websites, including global brands such as William Hill, PokerStars, Betfair, Paddy Power, and Ladbrokes.
“With this initiative, we seek greater resources for the health of Colombians, expanding the portfolio of games through innovative tools and tuning with the trend towards greater use of new technologies in the world,” said Juan Perez Hidalgo, president of Coljuegos in a press statement. “We are aware that the fight against illegality is not an easy task and less so with regard to technological platforms. That is why we are working in an articulated way with the National Police and the Ministry of Defense.”
Colombia passed online gaming laws in October. The new regulations impose a 15 percent levy on gross gaming revenue where the expected return to the player is equal or greater than 83 percent. Operators must also pay a fixed annual licensing fee of roughly $200,000, according to casino.org.
Colombian officials say they have had inquiries from more than 60 potential licensees and expect to award seven licenses this year.