Columbian Gambling Executives Charged With Corruption

Published Monday, April 03, 2017 -
Columbian Gambling Executives Charged With Corruption

Just last month the government of Columbia announced it planned to block over three hundred online gambling web locations that did not comply with the rules set out by the regulator. Colombia is considered one of Latin America’s more progressive gambling jurisdictions.

In October of last year the Government of Columbia created a clear framework for companies that want to operate e-gaming enterprises in Colombia, including sports books, poker, fantasy sports, esports, online casinos and others. The country now has approved legislation to oversee all forms of online gambling within its borders. Colombia’s gambling regulator Coljuegos requested that the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications block 325 online gambling domains including major online gambling operators such as 888, Bet365, PokerStars, Unibet and William Hill.

Corruption has been an issue for many developing countries emerging in Latin America and Columbia is one of those jurisdictions affected by greed and dishonesty. Colombian media has revealed that 31 individuals have been arrested following raids on a dozen establishments suspected of offering illegal gambling action. Police reportedly seized almost 200 illegal slot machines operating under the Coffee Hub brand.

Detained officials included Diego Rafael Pérez, a current vice-president of Coljuegos, along with the regulatory body’s former president Rodrigo Vélez, and six other current executives at the regulator. Also Germán Mongollón and César Torres, both formerly served as president of Etesa (Coljuegos’ regulatory predecessor prior to 2012) were held in custody. Luis Gustavo Moreno, anti-corruption director at the Public Prosecutor’s Office says the executives were awarding gaming licenses to “paper companies” in exchange for financial benefits.

An estimated 40k illegal slot machines are reportedly operating in Colombia. Coljuegos reported that authorities had seized 676 illegal slots since the start of 2017. Gambling operators who operate with the required licenses can face prison sentences of up to eight years. Coljuegos current president Juan Pérez Hidalgo stated recently that unauthorized illegal online gambling operators was stripping the government of over $100m in lost tax and licensing revenue annually.





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