Chile's Supreme Court Refuses To Force Internet Providers To Block Betting Sites

September 7, 2022
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​​​​​​​Chile’s Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the country's Polla Chilena de Beneficencia national lottery to block 23 offshore sports betting websites.

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Chile’s Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the country's Polla Chilena de Beneficencia national lottery to block 23 offshore sports betting websites.

The ruling, made on August 31, upholds the decision of the Court of Appeals of Santiago.

Polla Chilena is the public institution that runs various lottery games as well as the Xperto online betting product and has emerged as a chief opponent of unregulated online gambling operators in Chile.

This attempt to force Chilean internet companies to block prominent offshore sites is the latest in a series of moves from Chilean entities to force regulation by making life more challenging for offshore operators, which claim that local laws do not apply to companies based outside the country.

Polla Chilena had asked six internet providers, including Claro and Telefonica, to block the gambling operators, but four ignored the request and two wrote back saying that they would need a court order to do so, citing the principle of net neutrality.

Polla Chilena is also currently waging war against the marketing partnerships many offshore gambling operators have with Chilean football teams. The company has championed a bill under consideration in Chile's Chamber of Deputies that would ban operators from advertising at sports matches and on their broadcasting channels.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court wrote that “it ordered the information to be sent to the Public Ministry, the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications and the Superintendency of Casino Gaming, the competent bodies to investigate possible criminal offences and infractions of sectoral regulations."

In addition to the pending bill that would ban betting sponsorships, a separate bill to regulate online gambling and sports betting has come to the end of the Chilean government's requested 30-day delay to its consideration by the Chamber's Economy Committee.

The delay was requested on August 2 by finance undersecretary Claudia Sanhueza Riveros, who explained that it needed to be considered in conjunction with a broader tax reform to be proposed by President Gabriel Boric.

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