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Chile – Controversy over gambling machines outside of Chile’s casinos

By - 4 August 2016

Head of the Chilean Gaming Control Board (SJC) Daniel García has emphasised the fact that there are clear rules in place when it comes to the existence of gambling machines outside of casinos.

Mr. García said that it was “wrong” to claim that there was a legal vacuum when it came to gambling machines in slot parlours and small businesses and that rules regarding their operation had been made only recently.

García made the comments in response to the proposals and statements put forward by The Association of Operators, Manufacturers and Importers of Electronic Entertainment an interest group for the SWP (Skill with Prizes) industry; (FIDEN). According to the proposal all SWP machines outside of casinos would be monitored, controlled and taxed by a new regulator and would be bound by municipal ordinances.

FIDEN proposes a five per cent tax on all revenue made by all gambling machines located outside of casinos. The Vice President of FIDEN Sebastián Salazar, told local press that the law aims to put the “industry into order” so that all slot machines outside of casinos “operate according to the rules.”

New laws were needed, he said, due to the fact that there was “an absence of legislation.”

However the Head of the SJC reacted strongly to the statement and told local press that in Chile: “There is clear, current and recent regulation for the operation of gambling , therefore it is incorrect to indicate that there is no regulation . . . Our legislation, proposed by the Executive and approved by the legislature in 2005 and recently updated in 2015 allows for the exploitation of gambling, but given the complexity of this type of industry it needs to develop so that it is bound exclusively in the 24 authorised casinos throughout the country and under the supervision of the Superintendence of casinos.” It was up to the SCJ and the state, he said, to enforce strict compliance with current rules.

Gambling machines outside of casinos are banned under Chile’s gaming laws of 1995. In addition since then the SJC has issued a number of new rules when it comes to the technical standards for slot machines as authorised under Law No. 19,995. New rules were issued partly in response to the growth of gambling machines in slot parlours.

Last month the Chilean Gaming Board (SJC) released the results of its survey into gaming machines operating outside of casinos. The wide ranging study revealed that there are now more than 33 thousand gambling machines operating illegally in Chile. The results of the study have now been delivered to the 88 respective municipalities where these machines were found to be operating so that appropriate measures may be taken to prevent the growth of illegal gambling.

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