Chile resumes work to revamp gambling legislation


A bill to legalise online gambling failed to advance last year.

Chile.- The Senate and Congress have begun work on updating Chile’s gambling legislation after failing to reach a conclusion on the matter last year. The two chambers still need to review articles to finalise Ley N°035/2022, which was introduced at the start of March 2022 and includes measures to regulate online gambling.

Legislators had already agreed on a licensing framework, the interpretation of online gambling and a proposed 20 per cent tax on gross income. However, the bill stalled in the Senate Economy Committee last year while awaiting submissions from other departments regarding technical requirements, penalties and legal definitions.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court upheld a legal challenge from existing monopoly operators demanding that authorities treat online gambling as an illegal activity until the new legislation is passed, blocking access to gambling sites. The legislation would end the monopolies of Loteria Concepción, Polla Chilena, which runs football pools, and Teletrak Chile (pari-mutuel horse racing), but they are seeking protections for their businesses.

The Supreme Court ordered that the new legislation include a 12-month cooling-off period for operators that have operated in the grey market. Overseas operators such as Betano and Betsson argue that online betting is not explicitly prohibited under Chilean law, but the regulator, the SCJ, is of the view that without explicit legal regulation, the offer is illegal.

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