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Colombian gambling regulator Coljuegos has issued a fine and multi-year ban to Rappi after an investigation found that the group was offering illegal gambling in the country.

Coljuegos says that the sanction for the company, which is headquartered in the Colombian capital of Bogota, relates to the ‘RappiPolla Mundial’ game, which, despite being promotional in nature and not requiring participants to pay a fee to enter, still requires regulatory approval.

The regulator issued a fine of COP 78.1m (£14,801 / €17,295 / $20.653), and declared that it “establishes an inability to operate games of luck and chance for five years”.

It was noted that the monies collected from Rappi would be used for the country’s healthcare system, with a view to benefitting the most vulnerable across the region. 

Furthermore, Coljuegos also issued a reminder for companies to request authorisation before commencing the operations of similar such promotional games, added that firm’s “must process the respective permits”.

Currently, the authority says that seven investigations are being carried out that are much the same as the Rappi investigation, with individuals and companies that have “evaded the authorisation of Coljuegos to carry out their promotional campaign” being looked into.

It adds that between 2020 and into the first half of the current year it was giving permission to approximately 300 promotional games, which can be identified via its website. 

As quoted in local media publication El Heraldo, Rappi responded: “We have been notified by Coljuegos of a sanction within the framework of an administrative action begun in 2018 and we have paid the respective fine imposed by the entity. 

“At Rappi we respect the national order, we assume our responsibility and take the necessary internal corrections to avoid repeating an error in this type of procedure ”.

Moreover, Coljuegos also added a reminder to interested parties that “if a game meets the national coverage conditions, it requires authorisation from the regulator but that, if it is developed only for one city, it is authorised by the corresponding delegated entity, for example, in the case of Bogotá the Bogotá Lottery is in charge or in Medellín, the Antioquia Charity”.