Gambling authorities in Colombia have launched a new campaign to publicise the country’s gambling regulations, coinciding with the beginning of the 2019 CONMEBOL Copa America.
The tournament kicked off in Brazil on Friday and is the focus of intense betting activity throughout South America. Launching the campaign, the President of the Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos, Juan Perez Hidalgo, said that it was vital to support regulated and licensed operators in order to help root out illegal gambling providers.
The campaign, which is titled #LaJugadaPerfecta (the perfect game) is the latest move by Coljuegos in its attempts to overhaul the Colombian gambling industry. The organisation currently licenses seventeen operators, and the revenue derived from these companies helps to fund a number of public services and national projects in the country.
Under his tenure as President, the organisation has taken a number of steps to crack down on illegal gambling. Last year, Hidalgo worked with the Colombian Tax Directorate and the Federal Police as part of a task force that successfully closed over 3,000 sites offering unlicensed gambling, seized over 2,800 illegal gambling machines and blocked 2,600 unlicensed gambling sites from gaining access to the Colombian market. Speaking at the launch of the new campaign, Hidalgo emphasised that Coljuegos would continue to work with other organisations to tackle illegal gambling:
“From Coljuegos there is a permanent dialogue with the operators and, together with the State entities, such as the National Police and the Attorney General of the Nation, the illegal [provision] of games of luck and chance is fought.”
Interest in the Copa America is likely to grow in Colombia after the national team won their opening game, 2-0 against Argentina, virtually securing their passage to the knock-out stages. Last year, it was estimated that Colombian punters gambled the equivalent of £45 million during the World Cup.