Certain forms of gambling are currently legal under the strict control of the Colombian gaming regulator, Coljuegos. There are plenty of land-based casinos (which are often attached to hotels), and Colombians can also take part in several other gambling activities up and down the country with online poker and live poker events, as well as lotteries, raffles, bingo halls, dog racing, horse racing and other sports betting activities. Although there are a growing number of online casinos that are also now licensed and regulated in the country, many Colombians still play at foreign controlled websites that are licensed and operated from offshore locations.
Gambling History in Colombia
Gambling in Colombia was first legalized under new legislation that was initially formed and passed as far back as 1943. This meant that casinos were now free to offer their gambling services to Colombians that were 18 years old or above. The Empresa Territorial para la Salud, or ETESA, was tasked with overseeing gambling activities in the country, but this authority was dissolved in 2011 due to rampant corruption and many failures, eventually being replaced by Coljuegos, which has continued making strident efforts to bring in a more modernized system of online gambling laws and regulation.
In 2013, Coljuegos issued warnings to offshore operators that the government would prosecute a company that offered their web-based gambling services to Colombian citizens and as a result went on to blacklist many foreign operators who were still not fully cooperating with the licensing authority. In March 2017 it was recorded that a total of 325 domains that were providing unlicensed online gambling services to Colombians were blocked.
As recently as April 2016, Coljuegos posted a draft of the new regulations of internet gambling in the country and this became known as the eGaming Act. It allowed both foreign and home-grown operators to apply for an online gambling license and the country also became the first South American jurisdiction to approve national online gambling legislation. The first online gambling license was issued in July 2017 to Aquila Global Group, and numerous other potential operators have also since applied. The current framework that’s in place in Colombia is likely to influence other neighbouring South & Central American nations.
Colombia Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
Ever since Coljuegos was ordered by the government to draft revised legislation and regulatory rules for online betting, Colombian authorities have made significant steps to develop its online and offline gaming laws. When the eGaming Act eventually came into effect in 2016, it led to the licensing of a total of sixteen individual betting operators and even more are expected to be granted licenses in the near future. As is required of all licensed operators, a fully legal domain URL which is licensed in Colombia by Coljuegos must end in .co, and the operators of these Colombian licensed online casinos must pay a total of 15% tax on gross gaming revenue.
At the time of writing, there are still no laws in place that prevent Colombians from gambling in the real money mode at offshore-based gambling websites and players are not breaking any laws because these websites do not fall under Colombian jurisdiction. However, the government is still blocking sites who aim their trade towards the Colombian market and those who continue to offer unauthorized online gambling services potentially face prison terms of up to eight years along with hefty fines.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Colombia
Players from Colombia can now gamble in the real money mode at hundreds of the world’s top-rated online casinos and also at numerous other similar gambling websites and this means that you can now enjoy playing on games from various leading online casino software providers such as Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT Interactive and others. Playing at these world-class gambling websites also means that you don’t have to worry about your security, your money of your personal information, or the quality of the gambling services, and you will find that many of these Colombian gambling sites tend to be licensed and operate from within the United Kingdom.
The great news is that Colombian players can often play in their own local currency of Colombian Pesos at today’s best Colombian online casinos and you can deposit & withdraw at these casinos using most major credit & debit cards. Various e-wallets that Colombians can sign up to today are also now widely accepted, which means that you also don’t have to worry about online banking at these websites either. They are all protected by 256-bit SSL encryption technology and are controlled by some of the most trusted names from the online and offline gambling industries.
Some of the other benefits that you can also look forward to include having access to professionally trained player support (which is quite often toll-free and available in Spanish via telephone, live chat and email). Colombian players can also benefit from some amazing casino bonuses and rewarding loyalty programs and can also play to win some of the biggest online jackpots in the world at these websites. There’s also the point that these casinos are available on desktop and mobile, plus they are regulated by some of the strictest licensing authorities in the world. They are also frequently tested & monitored by some of the world’s major online casino testing agencies.
FAQ Useful to Players from Colombia
Can I sign up to and then gamble in the real money mode at any online casino in the world?
Most of today’s globally renowned online casinos and (other similar gambling sites) that operate from outside of Colombian borders DO accept real cash wagers from Colombian players.
Can I trust foreign gambling sites?
Yes. Many of the online casinos that Colombian players have access to today often rank among the best gambling sites in the world. They are protected by 256-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology, they are licensed & regulated by renowned authorities, and they are controlled by reputable operators with proven track records.
Can I play in my own local currency of Colombian Pesos?
Yes. The vast majority of online gambling sites today welcome most major currencies, including Colombian Pesos and US Dollars etc.
Can the website be translated into Spanish?
Yes. the good news is that although English is generally the main supported language at these websites, Spanish is also supported too. Even the player support is generally also available in Spanish.
Am I breaking the law by playing at a foreign gambling website?
No. There are currently no Colombian laws that will prosecute you as a player for gambling at a foreign controlled gambling site.
Will I be taxed on my winnings?
No. You don’t have to worry about paying any taxes on your winnings.
Online Gambling Highlights in Colombia
- Colombian players currently have access to some of the best online gambling sites in the world, and they are powered by one or more industry-award-winning software providers
- Colombian Pesos are generally accepted, plus you can deposit & withdraw using one of several popular Colombian online payment options
- 24/7 player support (in Spanish) is generally available to fully registered members of the gambling sites
- Claim an instant new player welcome bonus upon registration and then look forward to plenty of ongoing casino bonuses, promotional offers and attractive loyalty programs
- Hundreds of games to choose from and many of today’s best Colombian online casinos also have live dealer games
- State of the art security (256-bit SSL encryption technology) and other top-notch security measures means that your personal details and funds are always in safe hands
- You can now choose between playing at these highly recommended gambling sites either on desktop or on mobile, and the games generally take just seconds to launch in most web browsers (no download required)
- Daily jackpots that can turn you into an instant multi-millionaire are always up for grabs
Problem Gambling Help in Colombia
There are several Colombian based, non-profit organizations that offer free outpatient treatment for problem gamblers with gambling addictions. Whether it’s you, a friend or a family member that has developed some kind of gambling problem, or perhaps it’s just some impartial advice and guidance that you’re looking for, these charitable organizations have the necessary tools to help. You can visit their websites, or you can even attend the occasional land-based meetings/groups.
The globally renowned online casinos, especially the ones that are licensed in the United Kingdom, also actively promote responsible gambling and have several secure links and telephone numbers to plenty of problem gambling institutions such as Gamble Aware, GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous, to mention just a few trusted organizations. In other words, if you’re local area in Colombia doesn’t have any support available, then you can easily look to the international community for the appropriate help and support. Problem gamblers can benefit from access to professionally trained counsellors, toll-free support lines, useful articles, forums FAQ’s, and much more.