Coljuegos Proposes to Oversee Colombia's Gambling Advertising

OCR Editor. - October 9, 2023
Colombia Flag

In a significant move, Colombia's gaming regulator, Coljuegos, introduced a bill aiming to position itself as the primary gambling advertising regulator, reshaping the advertising landscape in Colombia.

Coljuegos, the esteemed gaming regulator of Colombia, is on a mission to expand its regulatory reach. The organization has tabled a bill before Colombia’s federal government, seeking the mandate to become the country's primary regulator for gambling advertising. If approved, this would encompass standard advertising, sponsorship, and various promotional communications linked to gambling.

The heart of this proposal lies in the intent to uphold transparency and protect consumers. The bill emphasizes that all gambling-related advertisements should be "clearly identified" by the associated licensed operator. This means any such advertisement must prominently display the operator’s name and its commercial insignia, ensuring clarity for the audience. Beyond mere identification, the bill mandates that advertisements be genuine and devoid of misleading information.

A significant inclusion in the bill suggests a targeted advertising approach, where operators can only release advertisements intended for registered users on their platforms. Such advertisements should be predominantly featured on the operator's website and bear the phrase “authorized by Coljuegos.” Further emphasizing clarity, the bill insists that any marketing material should explicitly convey the nature of the games. Additionally, operators are prohibited from using testimonials of prize winners in their advertisements, ensuring a level of objectivity in their promotions.

Investing in Advertising: A Controlled Affair

The bill doesn't just stop at dictating the content of advertisements. It delves into the economics of it, limiting the amount operators can invest in advertising. If an operator overshoots this specified advertising budget, they face a hefty penalty. The bill clearly states that the operator would be liable to pay a fine equivalent to up to 100% of the overstepped amount. The revenue from such penalties would then be directed towards the same pool as the funds gathered from exploitation rights.

Building Bridges with Sports:

In an era where sports sponsorships form a cornerstone of advertising for many operators, the bill lays down guidelines for gambling companies' affiliations with professional sports teams. Operators can enter agreements with sports teams; however, they must ensure that their advertising investments remain within the prescribed limits. Moreover, sports teams can only enter partnerships with operators recognized and authorized by Coljuegos, fortifying the legitimacy of such collaborations.

Navigating the Digital Space:

Given the ubiquity of digital advertising, the bill pays special attention to operators' activities on social media platforms. Operators are granted permission to send marketing emails, but only to recipients with explicit consent. Notably, the bill prohibits emailing promotional material to individuals flagged by Coljuegos for “risk behavior” or those who have opted for self-exclusion from gambling activities.

The bill also stresses the significance of child protection in the digital realm. It mandates operators to equip their social media advertising campaigns with mechanisms blocking minors' access. Moreover, gambling advertisements on social media can only target individuals who have shown an interest in them, emphasizing user agency by allowing users to revoke their interest whenever they wish.

This proposed regulatory pivot by Coljuegos is not an isolated endeavor. In a recent collaborative move in August, Coljuegos partnered with the industry trade organization, Asojuegos, to address the pertinent issue of anti-money laundering (AML) in the gambling sector.

In conclusion, with this bill, Coljuegos seeks to usher in a new era of regulated, responsible, and transparent advertising in Colombia's gambling landscape, aiming to protect and inform its consumers.

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