The government of Chile has accepted the resolutions put forward by the Economic Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, needed to launch a regulated online gambling marketplace in 2023.
The Commission had been tasked with drafting legislative articles needed by the government and relevant authorities to define licensed and prohibited (criminal) online gambling activities.
A legislative update was required as online gambling and sports betting have no reference under the current framework of Chile’s current Gambling Law.
Fifteen new articles had been drafted by Economic Undersecretary Heidi Berner, with the assistance of Vivien Villagrán, the Superintendent of Gaming Casinos Chile (SCJ).
Berner noted that proposed articles focused on how to govern the “ambiguities of digital platforms and online gambling business, in order to remove legislative uncertainties”.
The acceptance of Article 40 is of utmost relevance as it establishes the legal context for Chilean authorities to prosecute unlicensed gambling activities.
Further articles outlined the charges and penalties that Chilean authorities will be allowed to sanction for online gambling related to fraud, corruption, and cybercrimes.
Laws to be adopted in Chile’s pending Bill 035/2022 cite that licensed operators must register all product and games of chance with the Ministry of Finance.
Licensed operators will be required to register a “legal beneficiary” – either a Chilean national or foreigner who will represent the licence. The incumbent “will hold voting privileges or veto rights related to an applicant or operating firm.”
Following this week’s developments Chile continues to make steady progress towards launching its desired online gambling marketplace, a ‘government project’ that was initiated in March.
In the coming weeks, the Ministry of Finance is expected to publish its market recommendations on licensing fees and tax proposals for licensed activities.
However, progress remains on a delicate balance as commercial conflicts continue with regards to the interests of Chilean football.
2023 proceedings saw Congress order a ‘special committee‘ to resolve the long-standing dispute between the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) and the Ministry of Justice over betting partnerships.
The ANFP has opposed the Ministry of Justice’s orders to ban betting partnerships with betting/gambling firms. They argue that Chilean law has no legal precedent to obstruct sponsorships and that the Ministry should focus on updating laws.
Chilean football clubs seek guarantees from the government that they will be directly compensated by the launch of an online gambling regime.
As stands, the government maintains that by 2023 it will sanction a new gambling framework. This will see Chile transition from its current gambling monopoly structure, limited to three businesses: Loteria Concepción, Polla Chilena (football pools), and Teletrak Chile (pari-mutuel horse racing).