Colombia Gambling Agency Draws Up Online Gaming Blacklist
Blacklists are not generally considered a good thing. I mean, right when you hear the word “blacklist,” you kind of recoil and nearly inaudibly say, “egh,” don’t you. Well, there are a lot of people making “who farted?” faces in Colombia right now, as the South American country’s gambling regulatory agency, Coljuegos has handed a blacklist of 325 online gambling sites to the Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (Ministry of Information and Communications Technology), asking that agency to block Colombians from accessing them.
Yes, blacklists again. We’ve seen this before in other countries, either when they are trying to protect their state-run online gambling site or simply instituting draconian gambling policies (or both!). That list has been published; it contains all sorts of sites, from online poker to casino games to sports betting to bingo.
It’s also kind of weird, as if it had been drawn up by someone who really had no knowledge of the industry and just Googled “online gambling” (or its equivalent in Spanish). There are all sorts of duplicate domains, subdomains with strings of random characters, and even a Hotmail e-mail address. For crying out loud, I use a Hotmail address for account registrations where I know I’m going to end up with spam.
So be sure you don’t go to [email protected] because not only will you not find any online gambling there, but you might get a curt reply.
Wait, oh dear, I just looked at the list again. There’s actually a Facebook page listed. Ok, I’m going to it now because I have to see this. Looks like it’s the Facebook page of Orlando Diaz, the Manager of the Turn & River Poker Club in Bogota, Colombia. Yes, government, please make ISPs block this INCIDIOUS Facebook page where I can’t participate in any sort of online gambling, but I can get information about the club’s poker tournaments.
Here some actual, legit online gaming sites of some interest from the potential blacklist (listed in the order they appear on the blacklist):
As you can see (and the trend continues on through the list), there is an emphasis on Spanish-language versions of sites. It would be pretty funny if the blacklist was implemented and, say, the Spanish-language version of PokerStars.com was banned (as opposed to Spain’s version), but players could still get on PokerStars.com proper. I’m guessing an ISP would be smart enough as to lump them together, but who knows?
Obviously, it would be tough to actually get down to barring people from all of these sites. There’s also probably not the greatest chance that any government agency would start going after sites that try to get around the blacklist by altering its URL, but some of the major sites, like PokerStars, might choose to stop operating in Colombia so as not to get on the bad side of regulators in other countries.
Again, remember that any speculation only applies if the blacklist actually gets implemented rather than just appearing on a site as an embedded table.
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