Chile Supreme Court rules sports betting illegal

Santiago, Chile
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The Supreme Court of Chile has ruled that online sports betting from offshore websites is illegal in the country, siding with national lottery operator Polla Chilena de Beneficencia in the process.

The Court upheld a challenge from the lottery operator that claimed all online gambling in Chile as illegal in a 5-0 unanimous vote. Judges then ordered the government to block access to websites that must be “considered illegal until the government finds a regulator status for online gambling”.

“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.  

As a result of the ruling, an array of global and regional operators will be forced out of operating in Chile, as all hopes of establishing a licensed framework in the nation are dissipated. 

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. 

The Supreme Court’s decision has been a hammer blow to stakeholders in Chile who had thought that a regulated online market could come to fruition this year. 

The Chilean Government had accepted resolutions to bill 035/2022, which would have created regulations, by the Economic Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.

Earlier this summer, the Ministry of Finance had accepted rules that would have forced operators to pay an annual $70,000 licensing fee and a 20% GGR tax rate. Yet, with this Supreme Court ruling, it would appear that those plans will be shelved and a mass exodus of operators is set to take place.