The Senate’s advisory Commission for Decentralisation and Regional Development has decided, after listening to the stakeholders involved, to advance with its plans to prohibit and eliminate slot machines that are located outside of casinos.
A new report had been requested to help draft a new law that will regulate the operation of gaming machines for fun and recreation purposes meaning that the issue is now up for debate once more.
Senator Pedro Araya, President of the Commission, explained on Tuesday (October 10) that the commission will enact legislation that will back up the executive’s decision to finally enforce a ban : “The executive formally indicated that it will send a substitute indication that will prohibit gambling machines that are outside casinos, and in that line, what the commission is going to do in the next session is to consolidate a series of bills that deal with the matter, receive the indication of the executive and vote it in the sense of establishing a total ban on these machines that are mainly located at fairs, in neighbourhoods and in city centres.”
In this regard, the Senate will be asked to authorise the merger of the various motions and deal with them in general and individually, “in order to advance the process much faster,” the legislator said.
Alejandro Navarro, parliamentary forerunner of the project, welcomed the news saying that he was “optimistic” that the bill will “eliminate all these slot machines once and for all.” He also pointed out that they were responsible for increased gambling addiction and operators are being investigated due “to crimes associated with illegal gambling, money laundering, organised crime and tax fraud.”
The battle against the growing number of illegal slots has been running for many years and there have been many attempts in the past from both the gaming board and local state and municipal governments to close illegal slot parlours down. Increasing pressure comes from the executive now that the sector is now being investigated by the Public Prosecutor for possible money laundering, tax fraud and corruption.
At the end of September, the executive indicated that it aimed to prohibit slots outside of casinos. The Minister for the Presidency, Gonzalo Blumel informed lawmakers that a proposal or initiative along these lines to eliminate this activity was imminent. According to local press reports, the government could, however, seek to improve the Chile’s casino laws, in order to specify that the skill with prizes machines will be come under the same regulations that apply to casinos.
Caption: Slots in the Monticello casino