Rappi fined and banned from offering gaming in Colombia

| By Conor Mulheir
Colombian gaming regulator Coljuegos has issued Rappi SAS, a multivertical company headquartered in Bogotá, with a fine worth COP78.1m (£14,798/€17,303/$20,658), and a five-year ban from operating gaming, after it was found to offer illegal gambling.

The sanctions are related to the company’s “RappiPolla Mundial” game, which the regulator deemed to be operated illegally.

The regulator noted the game was promotional in nature and did not require entrants to pay a fee in order to have a chance at winning a prize, but that these types of games still require authorisation from the regulator.

Coljuegos said there are currently seven investigations underway which are similar to that against Rappi, examining companies and people who have not gained the regulator’s authorisation to offer gaming in the jurisdiction.

It made a request to other companies to ensure that they seek authorisation before running promotional gambling games.

Coljuegos then pointed out that the funds recovered from Rappi would be used for Colombia’s healthcare system, benefitting the country’s most vulnerable populations, and that companies such as these should seek the correct permissions before offering gambling products.

The regulator said between 2020 and the first half of 2021, it has granted permission for around 300 promotional gambling games, a list of which can be found on its website.

It said it was only investigating those promotional games which were aimed at the whole country, and that any promotions which are aimed only at one city or region may be authorised by the relevant local authority.

In addition to the documentation required to receive permission to run a promotional prize draw or gambling product, 14% of the value of all prizes must also be paid to the regulator.

Results published by Coljuegos last year showed that Colombia’s government had collected over COP2.8tn in gaming taxes since 2015.

Since regulating online gambling in 2017, Coljuegos has seent he number of regulated games grow from just 35 to over 1,400.

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