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Betting in Colombia

Published on: 30/11/2015

Columbia is situated to the northwest of Southern America; sharing borders with Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador. Columbia was under Spanish rule from 1525 until 1830, when it was declared as the Republic of Columbia.

Gambling existed illegally in Columbia throughout the Spanish colonial years, right up until the Second World War, at which point a new law was passed by the government permitting some types of betting trade. Casinos were allowed in 1943 and thereafter supported by further legislations during the mid seventies. Casinos in Columbia are struggling to lure visitors from abroad due to the country’s notoriety for organised crime. As a result of this reputation, foreigners are reluctant to visit and therefore the gambling trade has suffered.

However, even with limited wagering from tourists, Columbia has still managed to create more than 30 casinos, the majority of which are located in the Distrito Capital de Bogota. There are a further eight venues in the city of Medellin, with the remaining venues distributed throughout other Columbian cities. A prime example of the type of casino to be found in Columbia is The Casino Rio in Medellin. This venue offers 300 slot machines and over 30 gaming tables. Open day and night, the casino welcomes local and visiting clients aged 18 and above.

Columbia only has one Thoroughbred horse racing track known as the Racino. The facility also includes around 35 games machines and is open seven days a week. The gambling regulations in Columbia are fairly ridged and certain details are closely observed by the authorities. As a result, gaming machines built before 1952 can only be used for displays and events. In addition, gambling tables must be built to specific guidelines. Failure to adhere to these rules may lead to financial penalties, or even jail sentences.

The popular game of Three Card Monte is banned in Columbia and punters found wagering on the game may receive penalties reaching $1,000 or up to five months imprisonment. However, poker and Sportsbooks venues have failed to attract much interest in the nation, despite being legal. Other popular betting activities which are legal include Lotteries and Bingo; also there are plenty of Pool venues available. Meanwhile, all throughout the country, “cock fighting” is still a firm favourite.

Columbia has yet to introduce any official rules regarding Internet gambling. This means regional national betting companies who offer Internet wagering services are unable to obtain licences. However Bogota offers a gambling facility via the internet known as FADJA (Feria Andina de Juegos de Azar). The annual betting game attracts interest from many countries - especially from, Latin American punters. As a result, the Columbian government are looking to design new internet betting laws.

In Columbia, online gambling via foreign based web sites is not illegal. The country’s local citizens have nearly 500 online sportsbooks to choose from, many of which use the Spanish language.