James Kilsby: Colombian market ‘becoming like Spain, France or Italy’

James Kilsby: Colombian market ‘becoming like Spain, France or Italy’

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, GamblingCompliance.com’s James Kilsby discusses how Colombia is moving to liberalize its local gambling industry has attracted investors and new players.

With the exception of Brazil, which retains a federal law from the 1940s restricting certain aspects of betting and token contracts, Latin America has come out on top to become one of the most gambling-friendly jurisdictions in the West.

CalvinAyre.com asked James Kilsby, Americas Editor at GamblingCompliance.com, about the state of gambling regulation in the region, with particular attention to Colombia.

A growing market with the first of its online gambling licenses issued to Wplay.co last year, Colombia is “becoming like Spain or France or Italy,” said Kilsby. Recent launches in the market are a testament to the positive impact that the liberalization in Latin America’s gambling markets has brought.

Kilsby noted that Colombia’s regulated gambling environment has encouraged both domestic and international operators to apply for local licenses. In Colombia, online sports betting services are legalized, with clear regulations and compliance rules set by the local authority, Coljuegos.

“Colombia is open for business now as a regulated online gambling market, a little bit like Spain or France or Italy,” said Kilsby.

According to Kilsby, Brazil is a “sleeping giant” and there are currently two bills pending in the Brazilian Congress: one is in the Senate and another is in the Chamber of Deputees. Kilsby explains that while both of these bills will allow online gambling, the former would provide an online monopoly to the National Lottery, hence there are two structures over which the Brazilian gambling market will depend.

“Both are pending but the question we’re really looking at is whether these two bills can be advanced this year with the other political issues that are going on, with the president clinging to his political life at the moment due to a series of ongoing corruption scandals and investigations,” said Kilsby.