Chile's Congress Considers Blackout For Grey Market Operators

August 4, 2023
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The Economy Commission in Chile’s Chamber of Deputies is reconsidering two amendments that would severely limit the ability of grey market operators to obtain licences under a proposed licensing system.

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The Economy Commission in Chile’s Chamber of Deputies is reconsidering two amendments that would severely limit the ability of grey market operators to obtain licences under a proposed licensing system.

On Wednesday (August 2), the commission debated one section of a pending online gambling bill that would define the circumstances under which an operator could be forbidden from obtaining a licence.

The article in question was approved with all amendments apart from two, which remain subject to further discussion.

The language in question could prevent companies who have operated in any international territory without the authorisation of the “competent regulatory entity” from getting a licence. The amendment would specifically allow Chile's Casino Gaming Superintendence to “request assistance from the agencies that supervise and regulate online gambling in their respective countries”.

According to Carlos Baeza, a Chilean gaming lawyer who works with Latamwin, Coolbet, Betsson and other operators, “that is a very abstract reason for rejection, very difficult to refute and that we believe lends itself to very subjective rejection of the licence and we are asking that this be eliminated or that the wording be changed.”

Another proposed amendment specifically targets companies that have operated in Chile in the last 12 months, preventing the licensing of any companies who have been confirmed to allow players to bet on their platform, have advertised in Chile, or even “used the national emblem or presence of symbols that contain elements closely linked to the country”.

It also makes mention of entering into any contract with professional sports organisations as grounds for disqualification from licensure.

Baeza said that this week's discussion in the economy commission was advantageous for the international online industry, as lawmakers indicated that they do want the operations of current platforms who plan to seek licences to be affected.

“Today, the law does not have a rule that allows transition between the non-regulated market and the regulated market,” Baeza told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

“If this transition rule is not incorporated, what will happen is that the current operators will have to drop out for a period of at least one year.

“So, the main part of our strategy and our objective is for the [legislation] to recognise and incorporate an article ... that allows transit between the non-regulated market to the regulated market and that prevents operators from having to get off and allows the continuity of the service,” he explained.

Meanwhile, two Chilean deputies have demanded an investigation into the partnerships between the Professional Football Association (ANFP) and online gambling platforms. There is already an investigation into the link between the two currently being carried out by the Ministry of Justice, but this week Deputy Jaime Mulet announced he wants to throw the weight of Congress behind it.

The investigation would not just focus on online gambling platforms, but the many issues that have plagued the ANFP of late.

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