As promised/threatened, Colombia has begun blocking international online gambling sites not holding a local license.
Last October, Colombia became the first South American jurisdiction to approve national online gambling legislation, which was followed in March by the release of a list of 325 online gambling domains the country’s Coljuegos gaming regulator deemed to be serving Colombian punters without local approval.
This week, Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas used his personal Twitter account to announce that his ministry had instructed Coljuegos “to block cheating pages and betting evaders like play2wincasino.”
The Curacao-licensed Play2win’s domain is reportedly no longer accessible by users of TigoUne, the dominant local internet service provider. The country’s other ISPs are expected to follow suit in short order.
Coljuegos president Juan Pérez told Bluradio that his group had spent the past year working with the National Police and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinTIC) to address the online gambling blacklist, and “after a series of procedures we managed to block one of these pages last Wednesday.”
There’s been no explanation why Play2win was singled out by Coljuegos, given that the regulator’s blacklist includes online gambling domains with much higher profiles, including PokerStars, Bet365, William Hill and many others.
Last month, Coljuegos issued its first official online gambling license to a subsidiary of local electronic gaming machine operator Aquila Global Group, which operates online under the Wplay.co brand. The Wplay.co site was certified by testing laboratory BMM Testlabs prior to its launch.
Local operators have been furiously lining up technology suppliers for their online launches but Coljuegos has been coy about the progress of specific potential licensees’ applications. However, senior execs have suggested that the regulator received over 60 serious inquiries regarding licensing, and seven additional licensees could potentially be operating in Colombia by year’s end.