ays after completing two years since gaming regulation in Colombia, Meridian Gaming has signed a five-year contract with Coljuegos to operate online games under the www.meridianbet.com.co domain. The agreement contemplates exploitation rights valued at $ 3,356,210,113 (USD 1,107,549). By the end of 2018, it is estimated 17 online operators will be authorised. Until last month, a total of 1,267,018 accounts were registered in the different sites.
The president of Coljuegos, Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo, informed that the fifteenth contract was signed to operate online games with Meridian Gaming Colombia S.A.S. and place bets on real sporting events under the www.meridianbet.com.co domain.
Hidalgo stressed, shortly after completing two years since third-party online gaming was authorised in the country (September 28, 2016), that the activity has infused more than $ 19 billion (USD 6,270,000) into Colombia's health system.
"We were the first in the Americas to regulate this type of online gaming. There are already 15 regulated websites that offer online betting: wplay.co, betplay.com.co, colbet.co, zamba.co, codere.com.co, mijugada.co, masgol.co, luckia.co, sportium.com.co, rushbet.co, aquijuego.co, apuestalo.co, betalfa.co, rivalo.co and now meridianbet.com.co was added. Until last month, there were a total of 1,267,018 registered accounts within the different domains, which shows the great interest there is for the same and the exponential growth that has been presented, "he said.
He also remarked that, with the addition of operator no. 15, Coljuegos raised USD 8,681,227, as of August 2018 for operating rights and administration expenses. With these resources, $19,561,342,199 have already been transferred to the national health system, serving more than 24,000 Colombians.
The new online gaming operator in Colombia, Meridian Gaming Colombia, is present in 35 countries, spanning more than 30 years of continuous service in Europe and specializing in sports betting, throughout all channels (retail, web and mobile). Pérez Hidalgo also highlighted the wide range of players who prefer these platforms and the interest of national and international capital in this sector of the national economy.
"By the end of 2018, we look forward to authorizing an additional 17 online operators, according to the great interest of the private sector on this market, which allowed domestic and foreign capitals to have greater expectations about Coljuegos and the opportunities for those who meet the financial, technical and legal requirements. All this has allowed online gambling in Colombia to be consolidated as an entertainment activity and technological model which has increased resources for Colombians as a whole," said the president of Coljuegos.
He also warned that there have also been 33 imprisonment cases already in the country, and 8 convictions, on the grounds of illegally exploiting the activity: "So before online betting is implemented in your store, or any business, operators need to verify they are dealing with authorized, regulated domains."
Finally, the official explained that, supported by the Cybernetic Center run by the national police forces and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, 1,805 unauthorised websites have been found and blocked.
"Recently, we signed a protocol with the MinTic and the National Police to carry out daily monitoring of the sites advertising gambling in order to validate if they are authorized or not; when they are not, we proceed to the securing of the site taking a forensic image as evidence of the findings and start communications with the Police Cybernetic Center (CECIP), where they are finally registered in a platform by the MinTic so that Internet service providers block said pages", concluded Pérez Hidalgo.