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Colombia to Issue New Licenses by the End of 2017
- November 7, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
The president of Coljuegos, the Columbian gaming authority, Juan B. Perez Hidalgo, has stated the regulator expects to award new licenses by the end of the year.
According to him, at least two new licenses will be given to interested operators – further expanding the regulated market of Colombia, the first one in the South America that legalized online gambling back in October 2016.
Looking to Expand the Market
On several occasions, Hidalgo expressed his desire to attract more companies and award new licenses. He believes this will boost not only local investments but also those coming from abroad.
The first company to receive the license under the new law was Wplay.co back in June. Wplay.co has since signed a deal with Quickfire, bringing content from Microgaming, one of the biggest names in the industry to Colombian players.
Three more licensees followed afterwards: Corredor Empresarial with Betplay.com.co, GAMING1, and Vicca Group have launched Zamba.co, while only last month Colbet received its online gambling license.
According to Hidalgo, all operators are welcomed to enter the Colombian market, no matter where they come from.
Putting an End to Illegal Gambling
Meanwhile, Coljuegos and the Colombian government have joined their forces to crack down on illegal gambling. These efforts include prohibiting unauthorized and unlicensed companies from operating in the country.
The government has already published a long list of online operators that were illegally operating in Colombia. At this moment, there are more than 320 operators offering gambling services to punters in Colombia.
And while the fight continues, Hidalgo announces further expansion of the local market. However, a number of major operators have already left the country, not wanting to break the newly enforced piece of legislation. PokerStars did that in July after its website was blacklisted by the authorities. Still, the company hasn’t ruled out the possibility to return to Colombia in the near future.
Hidalgo emphasized that Coljuegos is in contact with interested sides. Only four of them are currently licensed, but he stated many others were on the way.