Simon’s Guide to Gambling and Casinos in Colombia

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This is the picture of the Rockefeller Casino in Colombia. The building is photographed from the outside, at night, the slot machines are visible inside the casino. This colombian casino is located in Bogota, the capital of Colombia.

Gambling, online gambling and casino gambling in Colombia

 

Most forms of gambling – of which the most popular are casinos – in Colombia are legal and regulated by a gambling commission, the Coljuegos. The Constitution of Colombia of 1991 declares all games of chance to be state monopoly, revenues from which are to be used for social purposes. The 2001 Gambling Act specifies that games conducted by the Colombian government include physical casinos, bingo, sports betting including dog races, as well as certain forms of online lotteries and betting. 15 of Colombia’s 32 departments also have their own territorial lottery.*

The gambling regulations currently in place have been deemed insufficient and outdated, especially with regards to online gambling. The government has requested that the Coljuegos develop a regulatory framework to legalise and regulate gambling in order to bring in more revenue and to substitute illicit gambling establishments and companies with legal options.**

Apart from a few online lottery games allowed by the Coljuegos, online gambling is currently illegal in Colombia. Online gambling operators offering their services in Colombia may face a fine and be banned for 5 years. However, threats made by Rodrigo Vélez Jara, head of Coljuegos seem to have had little effect so far, as hundreds of online gambling operators are still available in the country. There are also no laws restricting locals from playing on foreign gambling sites.

 

*Source (Spanish): Juegos de Suerte y Azar en Colombia (Coljuegos)

**Source: The Coljuegos Continue to Shut Down Unlicensed Operators in Colombia (CalvinEyre)

 

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Summary:

 

 

Casino gambling in Colombia

 

Online casino gambling in Colombia: illegal, players are not prosecuted

 

Casino gambling is legal in Colombia, and casino operators must obtain a licence from Coljuegos. There are several brick and mortar casinos in the country, most of which are situated in Medellin or in the capital, Bogota. Casinos in Colombia offer slot machines and table casino games.

Online casino gambling is illegal in Colombia, which means operators of online casino gambling sites may be prosecuted and their sites banned in Colombia for 5 years. However, while the Coljuegos has been shutting down dozens of illicit land-based operations, online gambling sites are largely left undisturbed. As a result, online casino gambling is a thriving market in Colombia, and several international casino sites offer gambling services to Colombian players.

The gambling commission of Colombia, Coljuegos has been preparing a new regulatory framework for gambling. Though it is nowhere near being finished, its main aim is regulating and legalising online gambling.

 

 

Bingo in Colombia

 

Online bingo in Colombia: illegal, players not prosecuted

 

Traditional bingo is legal in Colombia, and may be played in licensed gambling establishment. Several of the country’s casinos have bingo rooms of various sizes, though there are likely no dedicated bingo halls in Colombia. Games of chance played purely as a hobby, in schools or within families and for non-profit reason are exempt from the law, which means charitable bingo games do not require a licence.

Online bingo, on the other hand, is not legal, as the Coljuegos currently does not issue online gambling licences, and operating an online bingo site in Colombia without a licence would be punishable by a fine and a ban from the country.

 

 

Poker in Colombia

 

Online poker in Colombia: illegal, players not prosecuted

 

The Colombian gambling law regulated games of chance, which are described as games where the player makes a bet or pays for the participation in a game, the outcome of which cannot be foreseen, and another person as operator offering a prize for the right outcome.*

Poker is generally considered to be a game of skill, not a game of luck and, on top of that, players are competing with each other, not against an operator. In spite of this, legal poker games in Colombia are only available at the country’s licensed casinos. Also, Medellin is one of the stops of the Latin American Poker Tour, which is the largest live poker event in the country.

Online poker is, in theory, illegal in Colombia, as no online poker licences have been issued so far, and operating unauthorized online poker sites is against the law. The new regulatory framework being prepared by the Coljuegos aims to remedy this situation. Until then, Colombians are free to play on international poker sites, many of which offer their services in the country despite the prohibition.

 

*Source (Spanish): Por la cual se fija el régimen propio del monopolio rentístico de juegos de suerte y azar.

 

Sports betting in Colombia

 

Online sports betting in Colombia: illegal, players are not prosecuted

 

Sports betting is legal in Colombia, and is currently operated exclusively by Intralot, since the company has won a tender and signed an agreement with the Colombian government. The most popular form of sports betting in the country is horse race betting.

Intralot currently does not offer online sports betting in Colombia. As they have exclusive rights to the market, there are currently no legally operated online sports betting sites in the country. Players, however, are free to gamble on international sports betting sites.

 

 

Lottery in Colombia

 

Online lottery in Colombia: legal

 

Lottery games are legal and quite popular in Colombia. The country does not have a single national lotto, but several locals ones. The locals’ favourite lottery game is Baloto, which is a 6/45 lottery draw. Tickets for Baloto are also available for buying online.

Though there are some Coljuegos-sanctioned online lotteries, the selection is not exactly wide and the quality is not on a par with the bigger online lotteries. Those looking for more variety may participate in lottery draws on international sites; while operating such sites in Colombia is technically illegal, purchasing online lottery tickets from these websites is not prosecuted.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Colombia

 

Bitcoin gambling in Colombia: unregulated

 

Bitcoin itself is not regulated in Colombia, which means that neither is Bitcoin gambling, at least not specifically. Operating online gambling sites without a licence is prohibited, and no Bitcoin casinos have a Colombian licence, so they are likely considered illegal. However, no legal steps have been taken against them, and there are no laws against locals participating in Bitcoin gambling.

The popularity of the virtual currency itself has been growing in Colombia, and in 2015 the first Bitcoin exchange opened in the country. There is no word on whether the upcoming gambling regulation will include Bitcoin gambling or not.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from Colombia

 

The following online casinos and sportsbooks accept players from Colombia.

 

bgo_casino_bonus_banner

BGO casino – accepting players from Colombia

chile online casino

Casino Euro – accepting players from Colombia

32_red_online_casino

32 Red casino accepting players from Colombia

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32 Red online bookmaker, sports betting website – accepting players from Colombia

black_lotus_casino_bonus

Black Lotus casino accepting players from Colombia

 

 

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2015. 10. 29.

Summary
Simon's Guide to Gambling & Casinos in Columbia
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling & Casinos in Columbia
Description
This guide focuses on gambling (especially casino gambling) and various forms of online gambling in Colombia.
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