Chilean authorities introduce a proposal for a bill that will regulate online gambling in the country, generate millions in taxes annually and protect the people at risk, revealed Alejandro Weber, Undersecretary of Finance, in a statement to La Tercera.
Speaking to the news media, Weber outlined the Chilean government is projecting around $55 million a year in taxes from an industry that is already operational but lacks regulation. The proposal that will seek to impose rules on operators, will also aim to protect the public from gambling harm.
“With this project, we will establish clear rules for an industry that is not regulated in Chile. In this way, we will protect users and regulate operators, who will now have to pay a specific tax, which will allow the treasury to collect some US$55 million per year under the regimen.”
Alejandro Weber, Undersecretary of Finance
According to official figures from the Superintendence of Gambling Casinos (SCJ), the country’s gambling regulator, there are more than 900 gambling websites currently available in Chile, some of them headquartered in jurisdictions like Malta and Curacao, generating a market of $150 million annually.
Initial plans to introduce regulation in the online gaming space were aired by the government earlier in the year but without providing further details related to licensing, tax levels or protection measures for online gamblers.
The current proposal has provisions to expand the regulatory scope of the SCJ by including all online gambling forms under its supervision and rename it to Superintendence of Casinos, Betting and Games of Chance.
Operator Licensing and Taxation
Operators willing to offer online gambling, be it online casino gaming or sports betting, will need to be located in the country and have sufficient funds at their disposal to guarantee their operation. Further, they will have to reveal their shareholders and beneficiaries and implement procedures for reporting suspicious transactions.
Licensing will be available either under a 5-year renewable format, or a 6-month non-renewable, while both types of licenses will authorize operators to offer all types of games, excluding lotteries and games that attract minors. Licenses will cost UTM1,000 and UTM100 for a 5-year renewable and 6-month temporary license, respectively.
Both sports betting and online casino games will be subjected to a 20% tax on gross income, while sportsbooks will have to allocate another 2% of their gross income to the national federation of the sport involved in the betting activity and 1% for responsible gambling initiatives.
Customers will also be charged with a 15% income tax, applicable at the source during withdrawals from playing to personal accounts.