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NEWS 26 July 2017

Uruguay considering international iGaming ban

By Robert Simmons
The Uruguayan government is rumoured to be considering the introduction of a legal framework which would see internationally-licensed iGaming operators banned from targeting its citizens, according to reports in local media.

Although most forms of online gambling are prohibited in Uruguay, there are currently no legal restrictions to stop casino players and sports bettors from accessing international gambling websites. Measures are being considered that would restrict access to these sites.

At present, gambling services in the country are controlled by a state-run monopoly, however lawmakers have attempted to introduce a more liberalised approach to gambling over the years, with little support or success.

The most recent legislative changes to Uruguay’s existing gambling laws were made in 2016, in which the various agencies and regulatory bodies were placed under direct control and supervision of the state.

The Uruguayan Casino Control Board recently revealed that bets placed at local casinos amounted to U$6.15bn in 2016, rising 6.5% from 2015’s figures. There was also a similar increase in lottery betting, which grew to U$10.8bn in 2016.

Moves to block international iGaming operators come hot on the heels of neighbouring Colombian regulator, Coljuegos, issuing its first blacklist of operators targeting local players without authorisation earlier this month. In all 300 operators were named by the regulator and had their IPs subsequently blocked from access to Colombian players.

However, many operators who were named on the list chose to leave the Colombian market early to spare themselves from any potential legal action.

RELATED TAGS: Online | Legal & Regulatory | Industry
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