Chilean Officials Consider iGaming Sanctions, Mirroring US Calls for Action

Chilean Officials Consider iGaming Sanctions

During a recent session within the Economy and Development Committee of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, discussions continued regarding a measure to regulate the online gambling sector. The meeting resulted in the approval of sanctions connected to online gambling operators without licensing and their advertisers.

Any operator not licensed by the Superintendence of Gambling Casinos (SCJ) will be punished for offering services illegally. Those who advertise the brands will also be subject to charges.

Acting Against Illegal Operators

Article 40 of the measure states that whoever profits without authorization from regulators that developers or exploits an online gambling platform in Chile will be sanctioned. The penalty will include imprisonment to the medium or maximum degree and a fine of 11 to 200 Monthly Tax Units. Based on the Monthly Tax Unit prices, the fines will start at around $825 and go as high as $15,000.

Additional penalties will be handed down to those who deliver false information to obtain authorization for an online betting platform. Those who promote or participate in promoting illegal services are also at risk of punishment.

The Economy Commission is also going after users who create accounts to develop bets with false information about their identity or violate any safeguard mechanisms for verification. The penalty includes prison and Monthly Tax Units. Players are also to avoid using accounts owned by others to wager.

With all its changes, the measure remains under debate but has the support to move forward. Authorities in Chile want to ensure the gambling market remains above board and illegal operators and promoters face violations for their actions.

US Online Operators Call for Action

The decision by authorities in Chile regarding iGaming is similar to what several states in the US are asking the Department of Justice to do. Earlier this year, a coalition of seven states sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland’s office asking for help fighting illegal offshore betting.

Several states offer online casino gaming services and are up against offshore operators not subject to state or federal laws. Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey officials want to see action taken against illegal operators.

Illegal gambling operations do not pay taxes or licensing fees to operate. They also do not have responsible gambling programs in place for members or protect minors with age verification processes. Anti-money laundering protocols are not in place, and such operators also do not guarantee fair payouts to members.

Reports from the American Gaming Association show that around $511 billion is spent by Americans on illegal and unregulated sportsbooks and online casino sites. This takes away from state earnings and does not include the protections needed for players to stay safe.

The states want to see the Department of Justice prioritize investigations against offshore sites and prosecute bad actors. This will help to shift funds back to the states and ensure that protection is provided for players. It also helps to avoid bankrolling illegal activities like the drug trade or human trafficking.

The DOJ has responded to the letter, stating they are working to investigate the matter, and prosecution will take place if warranted. It will be interesting to see if actual change will be made, the illegal sites will be put out of business, or if the offshore sites will continue providing services to players nationwide.

Posted in: iGaming Regulatory & Industry Online Casino