According to Cecilia Valdés, executive president of The Chilean Association of Gaming Casinos (ACCJ) illegal slot machines are still a major issue in the gambling industry with as many as 70,000 illegal slot machines in the country.
Talking to local news outlet BioBioChile Valdés emphasised that it was a long standing and complex issue.
“We are quite concerned, it is not a new issue but it has had a different development according to the municipalities and mayors. It is necessary to distinguish that these machines are illegal and there is a difference between those of chance and skill,” she said.
Valdés referred to an opinion issued by the Comptroller General’s office in 2016 which states that slots outside of casinos are illegal. The opinion stated that only skill-based gaming machines were permitted in arcades and operators had to seek certification of their machines from the gaming board (SCJ). The rules gave the SJC the right to determine what constituted random and what constituted entertainment machines and stated that only certifications issued by gaming laboratories approved by the SJC would have the capacity to verify conclusively if a machine was either a gambling machine or if the result depended on an element of skill
“There are several municipalities that have operated quite negligently because we see that these facilities continue to proliferate throughout the country. They have a lot of negative externalities that nobody controls and that is where the problem lies,” she said.
“We do not know if the entry of minors is controlled, there are several cases and we have identified those, where there are minors who enter these premises and are generating addictive behaviours to gambling, and that is a problem at the national level,” she said.
In May 2018 The Senate’s advisory Commission for Decentralisation and Regional Development unanimously approved a bill that sought to prohibit the operation of slots or games of chance outside of premises legally allowed to offer gaming. In June 2021 a bill to prohibit the use of slot machines outside of casinos in Chile was approved by the country’s Senate.