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Chile – Online sports betting bill approved by committee

By - 27 November 2023

The Finance Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, which has been tasked with analysing the project to establish a regulatory framework for the online gambling sector, has sent its approved online betting bill for consideration to the house. The approved project puts in place a 38% rate on operators.

According to local press the initiative 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 Undersecretary of the Treasury, Heidi Berner, defended the articles associated with taxation and confirmed that the initiative will be dealt with as a matter of great urgency, since she argued that online sports betting platforms are illegal, do not pay taxes, do not guarantee rights to consumers and do not comply with Chile’s Law of Data Protection.

But, lawyer Carlos Baeza, a long time critic of the bill and advisor to a number of operators that operate in Chile, said that the tax rate was too high.

“Chile would be one of the countries with the highest tax structure. Considering that the Netherlands it is 29%, Denmark, 28%, Spain, 20%, and the United Kingdom, 18%, the application of the 38% tax would generate less channelling, a disincentive to generate operations in the country and, therefore, lower tax collection,” he said.

In addition, legislators approved the cooling off period which was first announced in October. The bill will ban any online platforms which have been present in the market over the previous twelve months.  

In August the commission announced that it had approved 15 articles of the government backed bill. The approved provisions aim to comply “in a better way with the objectives of safeguarding public faith with high technical and oversight standards; promote responsible gambling and prevent problem gambling; and avoid unfair competition with other players in the industry; and establish infractions and administrative sanctions,” according to a Ministry of Finance statement at the time. According to Heidi Berner, most of the approved measures had been put forward by the Executive.

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