SiGMA Americas Digital Summit brought together leading experts in the Colombian market to discuss the influence of Colombian regulation on other jurisdictions and the influence of Spanish regulation on LatAm developments and Colombian market predictions
Moderator Michael Muscat from iGaming Colombia was joined by Juan Carrasco from Asensi Avogados, David Plumi, the M.V of Betsson Spain, and Ingrid Alvarado Lopez, also from iGaming Colombia for Focus Colombia: Has Spanish legislation paved the way for a new regulatory framework in LatAm.
Law developments in the Colombia market
Colombia became regulated in 2001 and eventually online gaming was regulated in 2016.
When developing the 2016 online gaming regulation, Colombian regulators looked at other countries as a point of reference: UK regulation, Malta regulation, Italian regulation, Spanish regulation and Denmark regulation.
Lopez notes that regulators have become more open and flexible to the operators from 2016 to now, authorising wider categories and more games. She explains:
now [regulators] are authorising wider categories where they said there are essential requirements and this allows operators to be more creative and to diversify their games over time without being so restrained with very close categories.
Regulation in Colombia
Colombia, being the first open licensing European styled regulatory regime in LatAm, has become a model for regulating gambling in other jurisdictions throughout Latin America.
we have a regulator that has certain autonomy to regulate. And that’s why that process is very efficient in a certain way, of course, with the regular chip. But it’s very efficient process when we have a legal framework from our current Congress. We don’t need to go to the Congress to modify anything.
In terms of advertising regulations in LatAm and Spain, the general consensus follows that they are very similar in the sense that there are not many restrictions.
Plumi argues: “Well, the focus of advertisement in Colombia, or Latin America is sports”.
Carrasco addresses this self-regulated code noting the importance of moderate advertising in LatAm as a responsibility for the region: “Do not create the problem, to be part of the solutions with a very balanced and moderate advertising”.
The future of the Colombian market
Plumi predicts a boost in investors interested in the Colombian market especially given the increase in online gaming following players looking for alternatives during the pandemic.
Colombia now with Covid, is boosting, the online gaming is going to grow. They are going to reach probably half of the Spanish market in the next year. So, a lot of investors and new companies will pop up in Colombia for Sure in the next year.
SiGMA Group Americas Digital Summit is running from the 22nd to 24th September, bringing well-known faces from the Latin American gaming and tech sector to a series of in-depth debate panels, with content offered in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
The 7th edition of SiGMA Europe will move its November event to February 16th to 18th 2021.