SBC News Chile orders block on all gambling websites

Chile orders block on all gambling websites

Chile’s progress on launching a regulated online gambling marketplace has been thrown into doubt, as the Supreme Court orders the government block access to all online gambling websites.

Today, the Supreme Court of Chile upheld a legal challenge by state-owned lottery and pools operator Polla Chilena de Beneficencia that urged judges to deem “online gambling as an illegal activity”.

Voting unanimously (5-to-0) in favour of Polla Chilena, judges have ordered the government to block access to websites that must be “considered illegal until the government finds a regulator status for online gambling”.

The Supreme Court detailed the presence of unlicensed online gambling websites as a serious detriment to the Chilean government’s current attempt to launch a regulated online marketplace.

“Online gambling is prohibited in our legal system, treating the debts contracted in said games of chance as an illicit object, as well as criminally sanctioning those who enable said activity. as well as those who participate in it,” read the court’s statement.  

Polla Chilena stated that it was forced to take its concerns on “unfair online competition” to the Supreme Court as Chile has no specific laws to govern online gambling, whilst gambling regulator the Superintendency of Gambling Casinos (SCJ) can only enforce rules for municipal casinos and national lotteries.

The websites of Betano, Betway, Betcris, Coolbet, JuegaenLinea, 1xbet, Rivalo, Betsson, Rojabet, BetWarrior, BetSala, Micasino, Latamwin, Estelarbet, KTO, bet365, Betfair, Sportingbet , bwin, Marathonbet, Betplay, Bodog and Rushbet have been determined in violation of Chile’s existing laws. 

Prior to the Supreme Court’s announcement, Chile had been making progress towards the launch of a regulated online gambling market in 2023.

Authorised in March, the Chilean government had instructed individual departments to work on the legislation and policy provisions of Bill 035/2022, needed to implement Chile’s founding framework for online gambling. 

Last week the government accepted resolutions put forward by Economic Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, to establish the formative legal foundations for online gambling businesses to operate in Chile.

In July, the Ministry of Finance presented its market proposals in which it recommended that licensed operators be subjected to an “annual fee of $70,000 and a 20% tax on gross operating proceeds.”

Dragging affairs, the Chilean government had awaited the Ministry of Justice to settle its long-standing dispute with the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) related to betting sponsorships.

The ANFP has opposed the Ministry of Justice’s orders to ban betting partnerships with betting/gambling firms, maintain its stance that Chilean law has no legal precedent to obstruct sponsorships and that the Ministry should focus on updating laws.

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