ver 200 attendants gathered in Colombia on May 8- 10 to celebrate the Fifth Iberoamerican Gaming Summit, a meeting that, after four successful previous editions held in Madrid (I and II), Mexico City (III) and Cartagena (IV), on this occasion took place in the Antioquia city of Medellín.
Under the slogan "The Future of Gambling in Latin America: Challenges that Open Markets", the event was chaired by the President of Coljuegos, Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo. Regulators from Spain, Panama, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Curaçao, Colombia and Mexico took part of the event.
The regulators of the 12 Ibero-American countries that participated in this fifth edition of the Summit ratified their commitment, support and interest in generating and strengthening communication among all the sector's stakeholders, as well as discussing the current situation of the industry, exchanging ideas and experiences, ultimately strengthening the relationships between gambling companies and government entities.
This year, the Summit again had a dynamic format, with more than 25 speakers discussing the most relevant issues for the sector from an Ibero-American point of view. Through different roundtables and presentations, participants had the opportunity to share experiences and present success stories from the perspectives of each of their countries.
"This summit could not have better timing. Thanks to the joint work between the national government and the private sector, we turned Colombia into a model of regulation that contributed to the growth of gambling. This has resulted in greater social benefits for Colombians: A collection for exploitation rights, which has grown 35% in the last two years, with which $ 1.5 billion has been transferred to the subsidized health system " said Pérez Hidalgo.
He added: "A year ago we announced that we are the first to regulate online games in America and today we can show Iberoamerica that we have 9 authorized platforms in which there are a total of 471,231 players registered. We expect 17 pages at the end of the year. "
For his part, Juan García Espinosa, head of the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling in Spain (DGOJ), a contributor to the forum from the beginning, said: "From the DGOJ we are pleased to see that the principles of collaboration between the regulators of the different jurisdictions that were established in past editions of the Ibero-American Game Summit not only remain in force but have made progress in establishing a continuous management of knowledge of the different realities of the different gambling markets. In this sense, it has been proven that the main points of common interest are focused on the attraction of the demand towards the legal offer of the game and the fight against illegal gambling, the elaboration of public policies of responsible gambling, as well as the contribution of the sector in the defense of the integrity of sport, all of which are the main objectives for the establishment of a socially sustainable sector."
The General Deputy Director of Management and Institutional Relations of the DGOJ, José Antonio García García, participated in the panel on the social impact of gaming and gambling, which involved authorities and public and private institutions across the continent American.
Meanwhile, the conclusions of the V Iberoamerican Summit were listed in a joint statement. The regulators expressed the importance of "continuing to build a strategic vision of the industry in Ibero-America, sharing good practices among relevant countries and experts in issues of the industry's value chain, as well as joining forces in front of to the common problems to strengthen the institutional presence before other influential sectors, such as the financial sector."
"The digital age generates important changes in the way people gamble, and online gaming is projected as the future of the sector. In this sense, the jurisdictions reiterate the interest to regulate or renew their regulations, to strengthen and expand the portfolio of games in each jurisdiction," says one of the points listed.
In addition, it is reported that the jurisdictions with the greatest advances in matters of control and oversight and integrity agreements in sports betting offer their cooperation to replicate said experiences. It was also agreed to share information on the description of the market, tax charges, characterization of the sector in each country, good practices to promote legal and responsible gambling, collection and lessons learned. Colombia, represented by Coljuegos, assumes the commitment to consolidate and disseminate this information.
Regarding the financial sector, regulators consider it necessary to continue communicating effectively the important advances that each country has in the regulation and control of the game to avoid stigmatization and generate approaches with the banking sector jointly.
Given the great interest shown by the participants, a new annual meeting of the Ibero-American Gaming Summit is expected in 2019, with Peru as be the chosen destination.
The industry had the opportunity to discuss with the following regulators: