The government has announced that it will begin to regulate online sports betting this week. Talking to Pulso magazine Undersecretary of Finance Alejandro Weber said that tax generated by the newly regulated industry would amount to as much as US$55m a year for government coffers.
According to figures released by the Gambling Board (SJC) there are now more than 900 offshore betting sites that offer their services locally with the total handle now standing at US$150m. Lockdown has increased online betting significantly in Chile and younger players are now betting in increasing numbers online.
The government initiative will allow companies to apply for a five year renewable licence or a temporary license for just six months. Companies must be incorporated in Chile and report the origin of their funds, detail their shareholders and final beneficiaries, and will be required to comply with certain anti money laundering laws . Online gambling would fall under the supervision of the SJC.
Firms operating online games will pay a special tax of 20 per cent of their gross income. A license fee of 1,000 tax units (UTMs ) per year will be imposed on five year licence holders while the fee will stand at 100 tax units for those companies granted a licence with a shorter term. (The value of one Chilean tax unit stands at around US$68). A small percentage of gross income also will be earmarked for sports bodies and the promotion and development of responsible gaming. Meanwhile players will also be subject to a tax of 15 per cent of any income obtained via gambling when withdrawing money from their user account to their personal account.
“This is a good project, which we hope will speed up its pace and can be approved as soon as possible,” said Weber.
Sports betting is already highly visible via sponsorship deals between sports betting companies and top teams. In January 2022 the Club Deportivo Universidad de Chile announced that the Betano sportsbook would be the new main sponsor of its men’s and women’s teams in an agreement that will last three years. In addition to the brand appearing on the jerseys of both main teams, the online gaming operator Kaizen Gaming will become the Chilean first division club’s “Main Partner” as well. In the same month Betsson Group signed a one-year sponsorship agreement with Colo Colo one of the top clubs in Chilean football. Betsson is also the digital betting partner of the Chilean National Football Team.