SCJ said that these scams are only possible due to the gaming sites being illegal in the first place. The regulator used the opportunity to warn the public about the risks consumers engage in when playing on unlicensed sites online.
“It seems highly relevant to alert the public about the risks they are exposed to when carrying out online bets – those that operate outside the law,” said SCJ head Vivien Villagrán.
“The call to consumers is not to expose themselves to contracting this type of service and, even less, to go into debt to access them,” added SERNAC director Andrés Herrera.
Chile mulls gambling regulation
Chile operates under a monopoly system, with most forms of gambling prohibited under current law.
Consumers are only permitted to bet with three gaming businesses. Players can bet on football pools with state-owned gambling monopoly Polla, on lottery with Lotería de Concepción and horse racing betting with Teletrak.
This may change in the future, with Chile’s legislature currently considering a bill that would regulate the provision of online gambling in the Latin American country.
Bill 035/2022 – first published in March 2022 – last month passed through Chile’s Economic Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. The bill would allow operators to apply for five-year renewable licences.
However, the proposed law currently includes a 38.2% revenue tax, meaning that operators active in the country would face the highest tax burden in Latin America.