Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos has given the country’s licensed igaming operators permission to launch live dealer casino amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Coljuegos said since the launch of Colombia’s regulated igaming market in June 2017, it had grown to account for 13% of gambling revenue, with almost 3m registered player accounts across 16 licensed operators.
Having analysed the live casino market in states such as New Jersey in the US, and Belgium, Spain and the UK in Europe, the regulator found that the addition of live dealer complemented, rather than cannibalised, online casino revenue.
Coupled with the current social isolation enforced by the pandemic, with the country under lockdown from 25 March until at least 27 April, Coljuegos said the roll-out would help boost the market in the current climate.
Live dealer games will be permitted to be broadcast into the country from other markets, provided they comply with technical requirements for online gaming content set out by the regulator.
The approval of live casino games was announced alongside a range of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the country’s regulated gaming operators.
This will see concessionaires permitted to stagger the payment of fees due for March and April over six months, and temporarily reduce the number of gaming devices or locations operated, also for up to six months. Online licensees will also be able to reduce the fees owed for March, April and May by 50%.
Furthermore, Coljuegos will not be looking to ensure operators fulfil the agreed minimum profits or guaranteed gross income set out in their concessions, between March and December 2020.
In related news, NetEnt has entered Colombia’s regulated igaming market for the first time, in partnership with Rush Street Interactive.
Rush Street became the first US operator to enter the market, in June 2018, rolling out an online casino and sportsbook. It will now launch a range of table games from NetEnt, including blackjack and two roulette titles, on its RushBet.co site.
This will be followed by the launch of online slots later in the year.
“We’re excited to enter the Colombian online casino market and Rust Street is a great first partner to begin this journey with,” NetEnt Americas commercial vice president Brian Kraft said. “The Colombian market is growing at a fast pace and I’m confident that our games will be well received by players.”
Omar Calvo, general manager of Rush Street Interactive Colombia, said the operator was pleased to expand its partnership with the supplier into the market.
“NetEnt’s Blackjack and Roulette games are already among the most popular table games on our sites in the US and we know players in Colombia, who appreciate top quality table game content, will love playing these games online at RushBet.co,” he said.