Coljuegos issues updated gambling ad resolution

By Zak Thomas-Akoo

Coljuegos, Colombia’s gambling regulator, has issued the latest resolution outlining how it would regulate gambling advertising if approved by Congress.

Set to take effect from 1 January 2024, the resolution would establish Coljuegos as the country’s central gambling advertising regulator, responsible for overseeing all adverting, marketing, sponsorships and “any other form of commercial communication” from licensed Colombian operators.

Among other changes, the resolution outlines branding, social media and sponsorship rules. Also included are new advertising spending caps, advertising content guidelines and sanctions for non-compliance.

In addition to Coljuegos’ new powers around advertising, the resolution includes new responsible gambling requirements. It mandates that operators establish mechanisms and protocols built to detect signs of gambling harm and prevent these users from receiving gambling communications.

Also included are new rules around payments. Following the resolution’s launch, operators will only be able to accept deposits from consumers using pre-paid credit cards.

New advertising guidelines

According to the resolution, operators are prohibited from “false or misleading” portrayals of advertising promotions as free or without risk. Operators also cannot send marketing material to individuals who have opted to self-exclude.

Businesses are not permitted to confuse consumers with the actual nature and characteristics of the game. It will be forbidden to include testimonies from people who have benefited from their gambling activities.

Coljuegos requires operators to put in place age restrictions for its ads on search engines too, in order to minimise the exposure of young people.

The rules also ban the placement of ads in certain locations where young people might be present such as health centres and teaching spaces. In terms of sponsorship, only operators licensed by Coljuegos will be able to sign advertising agreements with Colombian sports teams.

Spending caps

Under the new rules, operators will only be able to allocate up to 20% of their project gross gambling revenue (GGR) for advertising or promotional activities.

Coljuegos will also limit operators from spending more than COP9.28bn (£1.80m/$2.20m/€2.07m) in the first year.

To monitor compliance with these requirements businesses must provide Coljuegos with an annual advertising investment plan that does not exceed the limits. The regulator can also request quarterly marketing and advertising expenses to ensure compliance.

The gambling advertising bill

The resolution is the latest vision of how Coljuegos would regulate gambling advertising in Colombia. The regulator sponsored the original bill, submitted on 29 September, which is currently making its way through the country's Congress.

If passed, the body would receive a broad set of new of new powers to regulate advertising, payments and aspects of responsible gambling as the new principle governing authority of sports betting and gaming ads.

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