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Chile – Operators welcome online bill but critical of tax rate

By - 14 December 2023

Lawyer Carlos Baeza, advisor to Betsson, Betano, BetWarrior, Coolbet, Latamwin and 1XBET has released a statement on the passage of Chile’s online gambling bill to the senate from the lower house. While Baeza highlighted the fact that the bill had received cross party approval and said that this was a good sign he critisised some aspects of the bill including the tax rate which he said would amount to 38%.  

“This result reflects the majority support of the deputies, evidencing a consensus on the need to regulate the online betting market. This legislative milestone will allow us to raise quality and certification standards throughout the sector and thereby project a more reliable and safe environment for users through an online gaming experience that meets the highest international standards.” 

Baeza also pointed out that “the new process that the Senate will begin will allow us to analyze the negative effects of a disproportionate tax rate of 38% on the local industry, affecting the opportunity to position Chile as a competitive online betting industry, since it establishes a tax burden well above other industries such as Holland (29%), Denmark (28%), Spain (20%), the United Kingdom (18%), Colombia (16%), and Peru (12%).”

Baeza reiterated some of the other previous criticisms he has aimed at the bill in the past but did say that the progress of the legislative process would contribute “positively to the safety of users.” However he emphasised that regulation should be adopted that allows the local market to be attractive, to the most established global operators “to offer a first-class service to users, generating optimal tax collection and promoting correct channelling, so that users easily transition from an unregulated market to a regulated one.” Baeza added that a lower tax burden was a point that the Chilean Association of Gaming Casinos was also pushing for as well.

Baeza also reiterated his concerns over the so called “cooling off” period which he said would benefit land based casinos and the lottery sector and threatened competition in the market.

According to a government press release the bill approved by the lower house aims to establish a competitive market and make the origins and destination of the resources obtained by the industry more transparent. It also grants greater powers to the Superintendency of Casinos and Games to supervise the activity.

The project, described as extremely urgent, establishes a regulatory design that balances both incentives for regularization and very severe sanctions for those who offer their services without a license, granting new powers the Commission for the Financial Market (CMF), the Internal Revenue Service (SII), Subtel, and the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF), among others.

“Effective supervision is established, since the platforms must give remote access to their systems to both the Superintendency of Gaming Casinos and the SII,” said the Undersecretary of the Treasury, Heidi Berner.

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