Online gaming providers in Chile have found themselves in a legal conundrum after the Andean nation’s Supreme Court issued an order for internet service providers (ISPs) to temporarily halt access to online gambling platforms.
This became the main point of discussion for the iGaming Daily podcast episode featuring Editor of InsiderSport Joe Streeter, SBC Noticias Journalist Fernando Noodt, as well as SBC’s Head of B2B Media for LatAm, Lucía Mouriño.
The expert trio embarked on a venture to untangle the complicated and, to some extent, confusing current affairs happening in Chile.
In September, a Supreme Court majority voted in favour of a challenge brought forward by the country’s state-owned lottery and pools operator Polla Chilena de Beneficencia to deem “online gambling as an illegal activity”.
As it is, there is no existing legal framework explicitly depicting online gambling as illegal, with authorities currently in the process of introducing a bill that would regulate the online gaming marketplace by the end of this year.
However, as Noodt explained there has been a “strong push” against online betting operators historically, with the Chilean regulator Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego previously stating that online gaming is not legal.
“But since the current legislation doesn’t give the regulatory body the tools to take any measures, the regulator couldn’t do anything about it,” Noodt continued. “We’re talking about a very grey area here.”
The latest development has seen the Supreme Court take one side of the argument thanks to Polla Chilena, which argued that heavy marketing campaigns from 23 globally recognised operators like bwin, Betway and Betano have had detrimental effects on the state-owned lottery’s business.
Such campaigns include various betting sponsorship deals in place with big sports organisations in Chile, most notably the Chilean Football Federation (ANFP), which could disintegrate due to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
To make things even more convoluted, advocates of igaming have accused Chile’s Minister of Justice, Luis Cordero Vega, of biassed decision-making due to his previous position as the lawyer for the Chilean Association of Gaming Casinos – another proponent of banning online betting in the country.
For a more detailed view and additional expert insights on the story, you can listen to the full iGaming Daily episode here.