Chile – Racetracks in Chile to allow bets onlineBy Phil - 7 January 2015
Two of the largest racetracks in Chile have started to offer online betting for their races.
Starting last Saturday both the Hipódromo Chile (Chile Racetrack) and Club Hípico de Santiago (The Equestrian Club of Santiago) – Chile’s oldest racetrack and home to South America’s oldest stakes race – began offering locals the chance to bet on horse races staged at each racetrack. The service is free to register for and can be accessed from anywhere in Chile with a high speed internet connection.
Cristian Muñoz commercial manager of the Equestrian Club of Santiago said: “We are excited to finally have Internet gambling in place. The horse industry needed it.”
To bet users must first register with the www.teletrak.cl platform which has been designed especially for the game. Users can use the service once they have registered and have supplied either a credit or debit card number. Around U.S$150m is bet on horse racing in Chile on the four racetracks that are part of the Teletrax network. The Teletrax network offers live broadcasts on horse race in betting shops throughout Chile.
In the case of the Hipódromo Chile it is believed that online betting on the track’s races will lead to an increase of between 5 and 6 per cent in revenues. However, revenues are expected to increase significantly across the board as four racetracks in all will offer the new online service.
General manager of the Sociedad Hipodromo Chile (The Chilean Racetrack Society )Luis Ignacio Salas, explained that it is the first time that sport betting online in Chile has been officially allowed and will enable users to watch the races live and online. The new system also includes IVR (Interactive Voice Response), a system often used in banks to allow players to call and place bets with a call centre, which will make the process much faster and more efficient he said. As part of promoting the new service each racetrack is offering the first 1000 registered players with a bonus of 30 per cent of their first payment with cap of $3,000 Chilean pesos.
This is good news for the horse racing industry in Chile which has been in decline for over ten years and is a significant move as it is the first time that online sports betting has been officially sanctioned in Chile.
In Chile sports betting was first offered by lottery company Polla Chilena de Beneficencia which runs lotteries on behalf of the Chilean government. Although its sports betting games are popular they make up a small proportion of lottery income and there is tremendous room for growth in the land based sports market in Chile. While customers can either play online or fill in a betting slip at a lottery outlet, other sports betting is still only permitted for horse racing and this is the first time that it will be offered online – something that horse track owners and jockey clubs have been lobbying for for many years.