Opening Of Colombian Land-based Gambling Facilities Suspended

Colombia has agreed to suspend the reopening of gambling facilities dependent on property, such as betting shops, casinos and bingos, even in municipalities with no confirmed COVID-19 cases. Other sectors can send protocols for resumption of the activities to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

The ruling was published in Decree 636 by the Colombian Ministry of the Interior, which extends mandatory confinement until May 25 and lays down the optimum conditions for reopening certain sectors of the economy.

Evert Montero Cárdenas, president of Colombian trade body Fecoljuegos said: “Although the reopening of land-based gaming facilities is still uncertain, we are working to give the sector some confidence.

“Employers are committed to implementing the necessary biosecurity measures to protect their employees and customers.

“Our interest is to resume the activity by providing the necessary resources to protect the health of our people.”

The federation is planning a reactivation procedure to seek government approval, once the country is allowed to reopen the land-based operations.

Additionally, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Juan Alberto Londoño, declared a 40 percent subsidy on paying wages to businesses that saw a 20 percent drop in sales during the health emergency. Licensed operators can apply for this subsidy if they meet the necessary conditions.

Colombian regulator Coljuegos approved a live vertical casino last month for online operators with an existing licence.

Coljuegos must start checking the funds and financial capacities of the operators before they can add this bid. They will also try to speed up the process of enabling the vertical which, particularly during the current COVID-19 outbreak, is expected to generate great interest among Colombian players.