Online poker in Colombia is still in its “Budding Stage.” The country only has 12 tables out of a total of 75 casinos presently running in the country. The transition the country was under was what resulted in such a state of the online poker industry. However, this is changing with the Colombian government paying more attention to the industry since 2015. Even though online gambling was legal, there were no proper regulations and licensing set forth by the government before 2015.
GTECH, an online operator, prompted the government into taking action after announcing its intention to launch an online service through its phone gaming app back in 2016. As a result, the government and the EICE Coljuegos partnered and designed the eGaming Act of 2016. Colombia became the first country in the whole of South America to legalize Online Gambling. Previously, the industry was following regulations set through the Colombian Gambling Act of 2001.
Online Poker Legislation In Colombia
Online poker in Colombia falls under the jurisdiction of the “Coljuegos,” the national gambling control authority or board. The board gives the government a complete legal monopoly of the gambling market, but regional authorities retain a level of control over all games of chances, including poker. However, the monopoly is limited to land-based gambling venues and does not encompass online gambling.
The monopoly controls games of chances such as slot machines, sports, and horse race betting. Since poker isn’t a favorite amongst the locals, not many people pay attention to it. Colombians who play poker engage in Ultimate Texas Hold ’em instead of live tournaments and Caribbean Poker. Under the legislation, it is important to explain that the online poker and gambling industry have no affiliations to the Colombian drug cartels. One online sportsbook based in Colombia banned a man named “Pablo Escobar” from its platform after mistaking him for the dead “Drug Lord.” The world can see how strict the casinos and gambling platforms are regarding drug cartels!
Why Poker Is Here To Stay!
The rise in popularity isn’t the only reason poker is here to stay! However, the reputable names from the reputed poker series and tournaments worldwide have raised the Colombians’ expectations of the game. Daniel Ospina, a Colombian citizen, became the first poker player to take home a gold bracelet from the WSOP tournament series in 2018. The same player emerged second in the same event in 2015 and during the World Series competition in 2019. However, he did get $262,882 for the World Poker Series.
However, Daniel Ospina is just one amongst many. Farid Jattin made a name for himself after collecting a total of $746,000 during the first Poker Players Championship held in the Bahamas at PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, before the company’s withdrawal from the Colombian market and prohibition of Columbian players! Jattin has made over $5.6 million playing poker in his professional career. It goes to show the passion players have for the game in Colombia!
The country has over 28.5 million internet users, potential online poker players. 28.5 million is about 60% of the entire country’s population. However, the enthusiasm players once had was curbed and cut shot after the Latin American Poker Tour stopped visiting the country in 2010. However, with continuous internet usage, the game is slowly regaining its popularity. Players in Columbia have ample access to online sites such as casinosonlineencolombia.co both onshore and offshore. Therefore, no matter how hard the players are trying or lack major poker series and tournament events in the country, poker is still here to stay!
Where To Play Poker In Colombia
Limited popularity does not hinder players from enjoying a good poker match. Players can select from a wide range of online sites at their disposal. Each online poker site has unique features, delivers varying benefits to players, and offers quality game platforms! One of the must try-sites is 888 Poker. It is the earliest, most advanced, and immersive poker resource for Colombian players. The website has been providing services to the country for many years.
PokerStars was one of the earliest poker game providers in Colombia. The company held major poker tournaments such as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Players would take home millions in winnings. However, the company pulled out of Colombia back in 2017. Today, no Colombian player can access PokerStars online poker services or the online platform.
Colombians can also try their luck and poker skills on Titan Poker or Bet 365. The two websites are popular for offering similar poker services on the i-poker network. Plus, the sites have glowing recommendations and reviews from popular review sites.
Future Of Poker In Colombia
Poker does have one of the brightest futures in Colombia. However, the government and online gambling governing body, the Coljuegos, will have to take a stand and subscribe the country to other poker gaming pools. In 2018, the government almost agreed to share player pools using shared poker sites (Foreign sites) but negated the decision at the last minute. The reason behind it was that the sites did not carry a Colombian license. However, the idea is already there, and revisiting is a matter of time!