UY

Uruguay

Moderate
Uruguay is a yellow-level jurisdiction since the government does not regulate the majority of the online gambling industry.

Uruguay is located in the middle of the east coast of South America. It borders Brazil to the north and Argentina to the west. Its position on the continent puts the Atlantic ocean to both the east and the south of the country.

Overview

Online gambling is almost completely unregulated in Uruguay. It is not made illegal by any federal law, but they also do not give out licenses for operating online gambling businesses. Even though the industry is essentially unregulated, there are two main exceptions to this that both happened in 2002. First off, the National Lottery Network in Uruguay was given permission from the government to operate online to offer lottery tickets online as well as something they call sports lotteries which is like a combination of sports betting and the lottery. The second exception was that the National Maronas Race Track was also given permission to take online bets the same year. This is seen as strange by many experts because they didn't really need permission to operate in the first place.

The Licensing Process

No formal licensing process exists in Uruguay, though some companies have sought explicit government position to accept bets online as seen in the above. Since 2011, the Uruguayan government has been under a ton of pressure to create oversight in the industry because of concerns over lost revenues. This is the argument used in a lot of countries that look to regulate online gambling, and in Uruguay it's a pretty big deal since there are also no laws to prevent players from enjoying wagering on the Internet. In spite of this pressure from the National Federation of Uruguayan Gaming (FENAJU) and other groups, no real changes have been made.

Player Protection

No player protection exists in Uruguay except for online bets with the National Lottery Network and the National Maronas Race Track. There are processes in place that players can follow to recover bets that aren't processed correctly or that aren't accepted as they're supposed to be. However, it's not widely known how effective these processes can be because they don't seem to be used particularly often.

A lack of player protection is one of the platforms that FENAJU is standing behind to get online gambling reform enacted in Uruguay. There have been announcements by government officials as recently as 2013 showing an intent to regulate the industry and bring everyone in under one government monopoly, but as of yet nothing has been seen.

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