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Chile – New bill threatens fair competition says lawyer representing online operators

By - 9 October 2023

Lawyer Carlos Baeza representing Betano, Betsson, Coolbet, and LatamWin has questioned the proposed regulation for online gaming now under discussion in the Economy Commission of the Chamber of Deputies . According to article 13 of the new bill, any online platforms which have been present in the market over the previous twelve months will be banned from offering their services in the Chilean market amounting to an effective “cooling off period.”   

Talking to  Diario Financiero , Baeza blamed the lobbying efforts  “carried out by the association of physical casinos and the Polla Chilena de Beneficencia (Polla) for the 12 month cooling off period and said: “The market must be regulated, promoting the creation of a competitive market.”

Baeza went onto criticise the Chamber of Deputies over its treatment of the online gambling bill overall as “the discussion has avoided addressing what should be the most important thing in this regulation: a market model that favours users.”

Baeza  went onto to say that: “This new regulatory design proposed by physical casinos and Polla Chilena de Beneficencia, threatens free competition and prevents access to stakeholders who today provide a service with international standards and who meet all the requirements to operate in the transitional period.”

Article 13 of the bill puts in place a cooling off period for operators who have offered their services in Chile. According to the bill: “The Superintendency will reject applications for an operating license when any of the following circumstances occur: having operated a betting platform without the proper operating license, or without the certification that authorizes it to operate in accordance with this law, or advertised or offered its services in Chile in the last 12 months prior to the request.”

There is increasing pressure on operators who have been in the market and have invested in advertising via sports betting sponsorship deals and article 13 is just the latest in a long list of setbacks for the online sector. Last month La Polla Chilena de Beneficencia delivered a list of 1,200 online betting sites that they want to see blocked to Chile’s telecom regulator Subtel.  The request followed the Supreme Court decision that ruled that  broadband provider Mundo Pacífico could not transmit or promote any form of gaming, unless it first received legal authorization to do so and ordered the blocking of 23 online betting sites.

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