Coljuegos carried out coordinated raids on seven unregulated gambling establishments. The raids by the Colombian gaming regulator resulted in the confiscation of 139 pieces of gaming equipment. Two people were also arrested in connection with being the mastermind of the operations.
The Colombian gaming regulator organized coordinated raids on several suspected illegal gambling venues. These venues were in the town of Manaure but in different departments. They are the Department of La Guajira, the City of Riohacha, and the Department of Cesar.
The raids were in conjunction with the national police. Coljuegos said the raids and their eventual follow-ups are set to result in COP2.22 billion in fines for those found involved in the illegal operations.
The regulator said every illegal slot machine confiscated will result in a fine of no less than 80 monthly salaries. This is equivalent to COP2.7 million. Other gambling games found in operation during the raids attract another not less than 300 monthly salaries. That is for every outlet, point of sale, and establishment.
The fines are just one of the punishments. Those involved also face suspension from operating gambling venues for five years. This is in addition to facing prison terms of six to eight years. The slot machines and equipment confiscated will be destroyed.
The gaming regulator emphasized the need to fight against unregulated gaming in Colombia. Coljuegos said this is necessary to ensure the gambling industry continues to play its part in the country’s healthcare system. Therefore, it urged gamblers to always seek licensed establishments of play with locally licensed operators.
The close of 2020 saw the regulator announce the seizure of 871 illegal slot machines. This was during raids conducted in partnership with the Fiscal and Customs Police, army, and the national Attorney General.
Coljuegos pointed out Quindio as the area with the highest number of illegal machines. At least 256 terminals were seized in this area. Cartagena followed with 206 machines while Barranquilla recorded 168 machines. Medellin closed the list with 110 machines.
These machines generated around COP27.7 billion in unlicensed revenue. The regulator also revealed it made around 90 prosecutions in relation to illegal gambling during 2020.
Carlos Andrés Zárate heaped praise on the work done by the various agents involved in the raids during 2020 to address unregulated gambling. The manager for the control of illegal operations at Coljuegos said the achievement was despite restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report was released after the La Federación Colombiana de Empresarios de Juegos de Suerte y Azar announced the shutting down of an unregulated online gambling cartel. The cartel was reported to rake COP3 billion per month. Los Poker was the name of the 15-member cartel. It operated 62 illegal gambling URLs.