Browse topics

  • Governing law
    NameLaw or Code?
    Constitution – Article 336, that establishes that all profits obtained from any gambling activity represent a monopoly for the nation. Such profits can only be destined to health programs. Constitution
    Law 643 of 2001, which regulates all gambling activities Law
    Decree 1068 of 2015, Part 7 – Regulation of Law 643 of 2001 Decree
    Resolution COLJUEGOS 135 of 2012 – Establishes rates and requirements Resolution
    Law 1581 of 2012 – Data Protection Law
    Law 1480 of 2011 – Consumer Protection Law Law

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Extra-territoriality

    The rules only apply to companies that operate within the Colombian territory, which must have a prior authorization from Coljuegos (the authority in charge of administering and regulating these matters).

    Regulations in relation to gambling activities do not apply to prize promotions conducted by companies from abroad with no base in Colombia. Nonetheless, various other laws such as the consumer protection law or data privacy law may apply to prize promotions conducted from abroad in which the customers are located within Colombia.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Skills competitions

    Yes, prize promotions can be based on skill; however, such activities are not subject to any specific regulation. They must only fulfil general Consumer Protection Law requirements.

    Profits obtained from competitions where the winners are determined merely on skill are not considered as part of a state monopoly. In this regard, when a chance element is not involved, the activity might be carried out for marketing purposes, without requiring any specific permission from the Colombian authorities.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prize draws

    Yes, Colombian law specifically regulates prize promotions when there is an element of chance in the selection of a winner.

    Considering that article 336 of the Colombian Constitution establishes that all profits from prize promotions and gambling activities where winners are chosen randomly, are considered as a state monopoly, such activities can only be performed with a governmental authorization and by paying the corresponding fee.

    Performing the activity without obtaining a governmental authorization is illegal and may be prosecuted under Colombian criminal law.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Selection of winners

    When a sweepstake’s winner is to be selected based on a ticket’s number, the winner number can only be determined in accordance with the winning number of a public lottery for a previously determined date. In such cases, during the day prior to the draw, all tickets that were not granted to customers must be presented before Coljuegos, which is the governmental authority in charge of supervising such activities.

    Whenever the winner is not to be determined by a ticket number, winners must be selected randomly.

    Prizes must be received within 30 days following the date of the draw. Nonetheless, winners have up to a year to claim a prize.

    If the prize is not claimed, the promotors must pay Coljuegos an amount equal to the value of the prizes that were not claimed by the winner(s).

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Judges

    Competitions where the selection of winners is determined by skill, are not regulated by Colombian law. In this regard, such activities must be in accordance with the Consumer Protection Law, which states that all terms and conditions must be previously posted and completely informed to consumers.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prizes

    Prizes awarded must be described in a manner that is compliant with the general consumer protection law.

    Money cannot be awarded as a prize unless the promotor is a financial institution. Prizes awarded by any other type of company or individuals must be either services, real estate, or any other kind of goods.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Registration requirements and fees

    To carry out a prize promotion in Colombia, an authorization from Coljuegos, which is the public entity in charge of administering the state monopoly of gambling activities, must be obtained.

    To this effect, a fee equal to 14% of the value of the prize awarded must be paid for the exploitation rights. Additionally, an administrative fee equal to 1% of the prize's value must be paid. The prize's value must be calculated based on the commercial price of the good or service that will be awarded.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Other local requirements

    To obtain an authorization from Coljuegos, a request must be presented at least 10 days before the beginning of the marketing campaign. The request must include the following information:

    • Legal identification of the individual from the company promoting the prize

    • An invoice certifying the purchase of the good or service that constitutes the prize

    • All technical and economic information regarding the prize that will be awarded

    • A certificate stating that a performance bond equal to the value of the prize will be issued by the promotor

    • A draft of the advertisement that will be used to promote the prize

    After paying the fees and issuing the performance bond, the authorization will be granted by Coljuegos for a term of up to a year.

    When advertising the promotion through a visual medium, a stamp of authorization from Coljuegos will be needed. Whenever the promotion is to be made by radio or any other non-visual method, the advertisement must include a statement indicating that such promotion is authorized by Coljuegos.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Timing

    The application for an authorization must be presented by the promotor at least 10 days before the beginning of the advertising campaign. Nonetheless, the authorization might, in some cases, take more than 10 days. The campaign cannot, in any circumstances, start without an authorization.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Translations

    All terms and conditions must be presented in Spanish. Additionally, when applying for an authorization before Colombian authorities, all documents must be in Spanish.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    Considering that profits obtained from gambling activities and prize promotions (excluding promotions that are competitions where the winners are determined solely on the basis of skill) are considered as a state monopoly and that, therefore, such activities can only be performed by individuals or companies that are authorized, any prize promotion carried out without such authorization is considered illegal.

    Article 312 of the Colombian Criminal Code establishes that exploiting a state monopoly without a governmental authorization entails a fine from between 100% to 400% of the promoter's minimum monthly income and a prison sentence from 3 to 5 years.

    Additionally, Coljuegos is entitled to impose fines on individuals or companies performing prize promotions without an authorization or with an authorization obtained unfaithfully. Such fines can be up to 200% of the value of the fees that should have been paid to Coljuegos for the exploitation rights.

    Other authorities might impose other penalties due to the violation of specific regulations, such as the data protection law or the consumer protection law.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    Although permission is rarely denied, prize promotions (excluding promotions that are competitions where the winners are determined solely on the basis of skill) are subject to governmental authorization and a fee for the exploitation rights must be paid in all cases.

    In addition to the general rules applied to advertisements such as consumer protection law, other specific regulation applies for prize promotions.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Regularity of sanctions

    Although prison sentences are rarely imposed, governmental penalties such as fines are regularly imposed when a prize promotion is being carried out without an authorization or in violation of the specific regulation. Additionally, other penalties can be imposed for the violation of the consumer protection law or the data privacy law.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Key contacts
    María Paz Arroyave Villa
    María Paz Arroyave Villa
    Junior Associate DLA Piper Martinez Beltran [email protected] T (57) 1 317-4720 View bio
    María Claudia Martínez Beltrán
    María Claudia Martínez Beltrán
    Junior Associate DLA Piper Martinez Beltran [email protected] T (57) 1 317-4720 View bio

Governing law

What are the applicable governing laws or codes for prize promotions?

Colombia

Colombia

NameLaw or Code?
Constitution – Article 336, that establishes that all profits obtained from any gambling activity represent a monopoly for the nation. Such profits can only be destined to health programs. Constitution
Law 643 of 2001, which regulates all gambling activities Law
Decree 1068 of 2015, Part 7 – Regulation of Law 643 of 2001 Decree
Resolution COLJUEGOS 135 of 2012 – Establishes rates and requirements Resolution
Law 1581 of 2012 – Data Protection Law
Law 1480 of 2011 – Consumer Protection Law Law