Chile's Online Operators Ask For Tax Break

January 31, 2023
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The Economy Commission in Chile's Chamber of Deputies has continued to receive testimony from gambling industry experts as lawmakers evaluate a bill that would regulate and legalise online gambling.

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The Economy Commission in Chile's Chamber of Deputies has continued to receive testimony from gambling industry experts as lawmakers evaluate a bill that would regulate and legalise online gambling.

Last Tuesday (January 24), the commission heard from Carlos Baeza, who is a Chilean lawyer for various operators including Coolbet, Latamwin, Betano and Betsson.

Baeza defined the group of online betting platforms that he spoke on behalf of as a legitimate group having “technical certifications, licences in their countries of origin and in a dozen markets, with strong international recognition”.

He spoke on behalf of Betsson, Betfair, Betway, Betano, Betregal and Betcris, as the lawyer and spokesperson for the group's campaign to regulate online gambling in the South American country.

Baeza told the economy commission that the operators he represents are licensed in Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ontario and Bulgaria, among others.

In his presentation, Baeza took aim at the Polla Chilena Beneficencia de Chile, which runs Chile's main national lottery and has been granted special dispensation to operate sports betting on a monopoly basis.

As things stand, Polla Chilena would also be exempt from meeting the technical standards that will be required of other operators licensed in Chile in the future.

“From the point of view of Chilean law, they [the exceptions] are unconstitutional. There is a rule in the Constitution that establishes equality before the law and above all the rule of free competition, where it is not reasonable to establish special benefits for a group even when it is a state-owned company ... . I believe that this rule, as it stands, will not pass the constitutional filter precisely because it is an attack on free competition and equality before the law,” Baeza told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

The online platforms he represents also want a proposed player tax eliminated. Baeza insisted that it would drive customers away from the regulated market to avoid paying taxes and cites other countries with similar taxes, such as Colombia, as evidence, where Baeza said that high-rollers still gamble offshore.

In February, Chile’s Congress will be in recess, but the bill is scheduled to be discussed once more in the economy commission when lawmakers reconvene in March.

Once approved by the economy commission, the bill introduced last year would need to be passed on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies and then by the Senate.

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