Proceedings have continued in Chile for the growth of the region’s federal framework for gambling after a challenging period for progress at the end of last year. 

Developments previously were halted when key departments failed to reach terms on a bill to legislate new laws and market standards.

Discussions have resumed though and Chile’s Senate and National Congress have once again returned to duties following the summer recess. 

The Federal Gambling Bill saw lawmakers confirm articles updating Chile’s judicial laws to interpret online gambling have been backed. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance had proposed to apply an industry-specific 20% tax charge on gross income and a licensing framework for foreign and domestic businesses.

Yet, at the close of 2023 proceedings were derailed by a Supreme Court intervention which upheld a legal challenge by monopoly operators demanding that Chilean authorities recognise and prosecute online gambling as an illegal activity.

The Supreme Court ordered the government to block access to websites that must be “considered illegal until the government finds a regulatory status for online gambling”. Consequently, the Supreme Court mandated a 12-month cooling-off period for grey market operators in the Bill, aiming to shield state-owned entities during the regulatory shift.

Additionally, SBC Noticias stated: “Polla Chilena de Beneficencia expressed concerns about being treated like other international operators in the proposed bill, pointing out its distinct structure and ownership.”

Meanwhile, representing Betano, Coolbet, Betsson, BetWarrior, and 1xBet, lawyer Carlos Baeza stated that monopoly operators were simply obstructing the passage of the Federal Gambling Bill.

“There is no provision in the Chilean legal system that prevents the development of online betting,” Baeza detailed to the Senate’s Economic Commission.