PokerStars departs Colombian market

18 July 2017

PokerStars has quit the new Colombian online gaming market after the nation’s authorities announced the first unlicensed operator to be blocked.

Amaya-owned PokerStars was one of more than 300 websites to feature on a list released by the South American country’s online gambling regulator, Coljuegos, earlier this month.

Play2Win last week became the first site to be blocked, with the news announced via Twitter by Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas.

PokerStars stopped allowing Colombian players from taking part in contests from Monday, July 17.

In a message issued to players, PokerStars said it was leaving the market due to the new regulatory regime, but said it was interested in obtaining such a licence.

Colombia became the first Latin American country to regulate its online gambling market when it passed legislation outlining a gaming and betting regulatory framework last year.

Local operator Aquila Global Group and its Wplay.co sports betting website last month became the first to receive the necessary approval to operate in Colombia’s newly regulated gambling environment.

Related article: Colombia issues first online gaming licence to Wplay.co