few days ahead of Gaming Colombia, Evert Montero Cárdenas, President of the gambling trade association Fecoljuegos granted an interview to Foros Semana, which was broadcast to Facebook Live. As part of Gaming Colombia, several other events will also be held, such as LAFT América, which is aimed at promoting money laundering prevention policies, on August 21; and the Industria de juegos de suerte y azar forum #UnaIndustriaÍntegra, together with the Foros Semana forum, on August 22. During the interview, Montero Cárdenas discussed growth possibilities and the industry’s agenda.
When speaking about anti-money laundering policies, he pointed out that "the gambling sector has made great advances. We have been recognized by the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia—a government agency responsible for overseeing financial regulation and market systems—, by the UIAF—a financial information and analysis agency— thanks to our sensibility and carefulness in abiding by money-laundering prevention rules. We are a very transparent industry.”
As regards the forum, he explained it is aimed at analyzing the current situation of the gambling sector and where it is headed: "This industry has always wanted to evolve and be at the forefront of the latest technology.” He also highlighted the sector’s contribution to the national health system and to the creation of around 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
"We are evaluating different strategies towards the development of new gambling and entertainment offerings so as to increase our contributions to the health system and the generation of even more employment,” he added.
Montero Cárdenas also shared his views on the work done by Colombia’s gambling regulator Coljuegos. Firstly, he criticized the authority’s interpretation of the National Development Plan passed by the Colombian Congress (PND, in Spanish), which included several taxation changes that had an impact on the gaming industry. Fecoljuegos believes companies should pay taxes on what they sell, as it is the case with other industries.
"We believe the regulator sometimes misinterprets the PND, always to the detriment of operators, and we are fighting to change that. We are trying to respect the spirit of the law, as conceived by the government and the legislators. We just ask for a dynamic industry that is able to provide the nation with even more resources while also benefiting businesses and their modernization," he said.
In spite of this criticism, he praised the sports betting and online gambling regulatory processes carried out by Coljuegos, but still mentioned that other verticals should also be regulated so as to avoid illegal practices that are still running in the country.
Gaming Colombia has been organized by Fecoljuegos and Asojuegos. All of the activities will take place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Bogotá.