Chile's government announces plans to legalise online gambling

Chile’s Ministry of Finance has announced that it will ramp up efforts to legalise online gambling in the country, with plans to introduce a bill to regulate igaming in the first quarter of the year.


The bill will propose regulating online sports betting, internet casino games and other forms of betting online.

According to the Ministry, regulating online gambling activities would establish a competitive market, as well as help protect both the health and safety of players.

The Ministry added that regulation would also allow Chile to generate additional tax income from legal online gambling operations and allow authorities to better monitor the activities of licensed operators.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has also announced details of a second bill designed to modernise the country’s land-based casino market.

Though the Ministry did not disclose full details of this bill, it said content would include updating the industry's technical requirements in line with the current market, as well promoting responsible gambling practices among operators.

Should the bill pass, all operators that hold a land-based casino licence in Chile would see their permits extended by one year, with the agreement that they pay additional taxes.

The aim of this, the Ministry said, would be to help generate more tax income for the country as it continues its recovery from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In 2019, casinos generated US$670.0m (£491.8m/€557.1m) in gross revenue of and paid $210.0m in taxes, around $80m of which was distributed between the municipalities and regional governments where the casinos are located.

“Casinos are relevant for the economic development of the country both in their contribution to the financing of the municipalities and regional governments through the payment of taxes and in the development of tourism in the regions,” the Ministry said.

“However, both the pandemic and new global trends in the industry require new standards that ensure further development of the sector and higher tax collection through competitive tenders.”