Columbia Gambling Regulator Approves Sixth Online Gambling License

Coljuegos, the regulatory body in charge of handling betting licenses for Colombia, recently announced that they are granting a sixth online gaming license. The recipient of this new license is Grupo Empresarial Geonline SAS. They will operate the online gambling site Mijugada.com which is set to go live in Jan 2018.

While the Colombian market is flooded with a number online gambling websites, the majority of them are illegal online gambling websites as only six sites are legally approved to do so.

Columbia was the first country in Latin America to officially legalize online betting and put in place a regulatory framework. There are two more operators who have applied for online licenses and their applications are currently being reviewed. The Colombian government expects over 20 licenses to be issued before the end of 2018.

Mijugada joins five other websites that have an online betting license. These five legalized websites include Wplay.co, Betplay.com.co, Colbet.co, odere.com.co and Zamba.co. The current online gambling license allows the provider to operate in Colombia for a period of three years. The first of these licenses was issued only in June to Aquila Global Group which runs Wplay.co. Since then, new licenses have been issued to further expand the legal online gambling market.

The results have been very pleasing to the Colombian government. By November, the online gambling sector had already contributed around 3.76 billion Colombian pesos to the economy. The plan for this year was to issue seven licenses before the year's end. With the deadline closing in, the commission is going to need to approve the seventh license within the next ten days few days to meet the deadline.

Juan Perez Hidalgo, the head of Coljuegos, is pretty confident about the future of the Colombian online gambling market. He projects that by the next World Cup, the online gambling market would be able to generate several billion Colombian pesos in revenue. This will be a big boost to the country's healthcare system, to which a lot of the revenue is funneled.

Hidalgo has also stressed that Coljuego's will focus on targeting international operators who offer Colombians betting services without a license. He plans to increase his regulatory body's cooperation with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinTIC) and law enforcement to suspend these sites and to better regulate the local online gambling market. They have already blacklisted 325 domains from operating in the country.