Colombian regulators propose new rules about ads, responsible gambling

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A new resolution from Colombian regulator Coljuegos will implement advertising restrictions on operators effective Jan. 1, 2024.

If approved by Congress, the resolution also addresses licensing requirements and responsible gambling in addition to advertising restrictions.

Some of the elements of the proposed rules include limits on depictions of gambling as something that comes without financial risk.

The advertising restrictions would be based on a tiered system where, the more an operator contributes revenue to the state, the more they will be allowed to advertise their products. For example, new entrants into the market would only be able to allocate up to 20% of gross gaming revenue to advertising efforts.

Advertising must also clearly display what entity is producing the commercial or advertising mesaging.

Per the regulation, penalties for violating these thresholds are not cheap.

“In the event that an operator exceeds the established range, they will be subject to a fine equivalent to up to 100 percent of the amount exceeded in the investment.”

That number would include sports betting team sponsorships. Those teams would also need the express permission of Coljuegos to enter into a sports advertising agreement.

Other elements of the regulations include limits on how credit card deposits are handled and mandatory responsible gambling tools for operators.

Speaking with SBC Noticias, attorney Juan Camilo Carrasco of Aseni Abogados noted there could be issues with the resolution, as some might argue it conflicts with existing higher laws in the country.

Colombia was one of the first Latin American countries to explicitly legalize and regulate gambling, passing laws in 2016. If Congress approves this resolution, it would be a major restructuring to the scope of influence Coljuegos would have on the industry going forward.