International edition
January 22, 2021

 Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo, President of gambling authority "Coljuegos"

"We expect online casinos to begin operating in Colombia within a month"

"The National Gambling Council as recently approved live casino tables. We are also in the process of making Super Astro and Baloto available in the online platforms authorized by Coljuegos," Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo said.
Colombia | 05/19/2020

In a recent interview with the local newspaper  "La República de Colombia", the president of the Colombian gambling regulator delved into the reactivation of gambling in the country and the releases they have planned to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus-related lockdown.

C

ould you detail the specific guidelines for the reopening of the sector?

The guidelines are in line with the protocols that President Iván Duque has already announced. Some restrictions have been put in place in the outlets that offer odds, including the set of specific times to sanitize the area, a physical distance of two meters, and mandatory masks. This is the protocol we presented and which has been approved by the Ministry of Health. It is currently in effect and authorities in each jurisdiction will oversee the compliance of such guidelines.

Has the reactivation of these operations had to do with the resources the government allocates to the healthcare system?

The whole purpose of the government-owned operation of gambling is the collection of revenue to fund an enhanced healthcare system for Colombians.

The resources we generate are allocated to that, and of course, taking into account the challenging tax and economic situation the government is currently undergoing, these resources become especially important to improve healthcare during a time when it is very much needed.

What has happened with football betting?

Online betting in Colombia is based on real sporting events, that is to say, on football matches of European and Latin American leagues, and since matches have been suspended worldwide, that has had a huge impact on the sector. However, we have developed other products we will be able to offer online.

Which products?

The National Gambling Council as recently approved live casino tables. We are also in the process of making Super Astro and Baloto available in the online platforms authorized by Coljuegos. We expect these products to be fully available within a month.

Which is the tax collection rate of these games?

It depends on the game and its features. For example, the tax collection rate of Baloto is 32.5% and of Súper Astro, 19% of total sales. The online gambling tax rate is based on sales and prize payments and is around 90%.

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