Colombia has decided to delay the reopening of land-based gambling facilities, such as betting shops, casinos and bingos, even in municipalities with no reported cases of COVID-19. Other sectors can submit protocols to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to resume activities.

The ruling was published by the Colombian Ministry of the Interior in Decree 636, which extends mandatory confinement until May 25 and establishes the optimum conditions to reopen some sectors of the economy.

“Although the reopening of land-based gaming facilities is still uncertain, we are working to give the sector some confidence,” said Evert Montero Cárdenas, president of Colombian trade body Fecoljuegos. “Employers are committed to implementing the necessary biosecurity measures to protect their employees and customers.”

“Our interest is to resume the activity by providing the necessary resources to protect the health of our people,” he added.

The federation is preparing a reactivation protocol to request certification by the government, once the reopening of the land-based operations is authorized in the country.

In addition, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Juan Alberto Londoño, announced a 40% subsidy on the payment of salaries for companies that have seen a 20% decline in revenues during the health emergency. Licensed operators can apply for this subsidy if they meet the necessary requirements.

Last month, the Colombian regulator Coljuegos approved a live casino vertical for online operators who hold an existing license.

Coljuegos will begin verifying operators’ funds and financial capacities before they can add this offering. They will also try to accelerate the process to activate the vertical, which is expected to generate great interest among Colombian players, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak.