Coljuegos is making progress in its efforts to establish a new legal framework for the operation of slot machines and bring around 90,000 unlicensed slot machines into the legal sector. However the board has announced that it has published a resolution suspending new requirements for slot machines until July 31st.
The delay is to give operators more time to comply with new regulations which are still under development. Coljuegos announced that that there were now as many as 104,017 authorized machines nationwide. The resolution would also apply to national legal entities that were currently operating slot machines without the proper authorization from Coljuegos.
According to Coljuegos, the entity loses approximately 1 billion Colombian pesos in exploitation rights for slot machines.
Marco Emilio Hincapié, President of Coljuegos, stated that the proposal involves inviting casino owners to apply for the necessary permits to operate legally. Additionally, he emphasized that the resources obtained from these operations would significantly contribute to the country’s healthcare needs.
“This resolution will be a great step forward for us. We are ready for it to become firm so that people can come and start legalizing their processes and thus combat evasion,” Hincapié said.
The resolution was first published in December 2023, and invited owners of more than 90,000 machines to request permits and operate legally. The resolution, which has still to be finalised, also outlines certification for gaming machines and prize limits amongst other requirements.
The project aims to regulate the use of electronic slot machines that are currently operating without authorization in establishments whose main commercial activity is not the exploitation of games of chance and gambling.
This initiative has a national scope, and its main objective is for those who already operate these games to start doing so within a legal framework to provide safer gaming for users and reduce the loss of revenue to the state treasury through tax collection. The impact of illegal gambling is especially important in Colombia as revenue from gambling goes directly to the Colombian healthcare system.
Although the size of the illegal market is hard to gauge it could stand at around 30% of the market overall according to the ex-president of Coljuegos César Augusto Valencia Galiano. Valencia Galiano made the statement in April 2022 as he signed a pact for the Legality of the Gambling Sector with the department of Quindío – a strategy with which Coljuegos aims to combat illegal gaming. Coljuegos has signed a number of similar pacts with local governments since 2017.