Colombia intensifies raids against illegal gambling operators

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Coljuegos, the Colombian gambling regulator, has announced the completion of raids against illegal gambling operations throughout the Risaralda and Quindío departments.

The regulator seized 159 pieces of what it deemed illegal gambling equipment in the control action including; four sports betting modules, 55 electronic slot machines and 100 bingo chairs.

Coljuegos conducted the seizures at commercial establishments in coordination with the Colombian National Police, and will issue fines in the order of COP4.8m (£1,000/$1,200/€1,150) to those responsible.

Gambling in Colombia is controlled by the state, with private companies only able to operate after receiving a special dispensation from the government. According to the Colombian constitution, proceeds from the activity are supposed to be used for social purposes.

Coljuegos said that the machines taken represent COP2.65bnthat will not be directed towards these good causes.

Colombia legalised some forms of online gambling in October 2016 with its egaming act. Then in 2021 it expanded the industry with online bingo, instant games and digital scratch cards – this was a direct result of the damage to the sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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