Chile to speed up proposals to regulate online gambling

Lucia Mouriño – SBC Noticias

Alejandro Weber, Undersecretary of Finance for Chile, has revealed that the government will seek to regulate an online gambling marketplace that aims to generate around $55 million a year in taxes.

In a statement to Chilian news source La Tercera, the Undersecretary shared that one of the goals of the project will be to protect users and impose rules on operators. The regulation will contemplate a specific tax that will allow Chile to access millions annually for online gaming operations.

“With this project we will set clear rules for an industry that is not currently regulated in Chile,” he said.

Although an initiative had been unveiled in 2021, the project was reportedly presented on Monday, aiming to regulate an industry that is already operational but without a legal framework.

The most recent figures from the local regulator, the Superintendence of Gambling Casinos (SCJ), show that there are already 900 online gaming sites and platforms, representing a market worth approximately $150m.

If the project is approved, the SCJ would be renamed the Superintendence of Casinos, Betting and Games of Chance and would be in charge of supervising the online industry.

According to the details of the project, the companies would be able to obtain a 5-year renewable license or a temporary, non-renewable six-month license. All types of games would be allowed, with the exception of lotteries and the ones that attract minors.

The companies would have to be located in Chile and demonstrate the necessary funds to be able to operate. In addition, they must detail their shareholders and beneficiaries and report all types of suspicious operations.

Additionally, the companies would be subject to a 20% gross income tax, which would replace VAT, as well as the payment of 1000 UTM – the unit of account from Chile – for renewable licenses and 100 UTM for temporary licenses.

Operators focused on sports betting must also allocate 2% of their gross income to the national federation of the sport involved in the betting activity and an extra 1% to carry out responsible gambling actions.

Users will also be affected by a 15% income tax, which will be taken when withdrawing the money from the platform account to the personal account.

“This is a good project, which we hope will pick up its pace and be approved as soon as possible,” Weber said.

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