Lawyer advising gambling websites in Chile: "There is no constitutional rule that prohibits it"

Carlos Baeza, lawyer advisor of the online betting platforms Betano, Betsson, Coolbet and Latamwin, has defended the legality of online bookmakers in Chile and has advocated for a regulation of the sector.

According to Baeza, there is no regulation in Chile that prohibits online gambling, and only two regulations include gambling bans, neither of which applies to online gambling. Baeza also stressed the importance of modern and transparent regulation for the online gambling industry in Chile. In addition, he noted that companies are willing to pay taxes in Chile and have supported the advancement of a bill that establishes the obligation to establish in Chile and pay all taxes. Regarding the identity of the bookmakers' owners, Baeza mentioned that some platforms have public information available, but many others operate without disclosing who their owners are. Finally, he pointed out that companies implement data protection protocols, problem gambling prevention and exclusive access for adults, among other measures, to protect bettors.

These are important arguments he develops:

In all activities carried out by individuals, which fall within the scope of private law, everything is permitted, unless expressly prohibited. In Chile there is no regulation that prohibits online gambling. There are only two regulations that include a prohibition of gambling: one in the Penal Code, in force since 1874, which does not include online gambling as a prohibited and punishable conduct; and the other in the Gambling Casinos Law, which expressly prohibits land-based casinos from operating online gambling. There is no constitutional rule prohibiting gambling as a whole, but a guarantee that the regulation of gambling must be made by law and cannot be regulated by a ministerial decree or a municipal ordinance. Nor is there a prohibition of betting in civil matters, where a vice - illicit object - is established in the debt associated with a betting contract. The debt is a monetary obligation agreed for a term.

Regarding the payment of taxes, he comments:

All international companies that do not have domicile or residence in Chile, such as Netflix, Spotify, Sony, Apple are obliged to pay only one tax in the country, which is the digital VAT. That tax, which the platforms were paying until December 2022, as of January 2023 was blocked by the Internal Revenue Service. The companies that I represent have pushed for the advancement of the bill that is being processed in Congress that regulates online gambling platforms and establishes the obligation to establish in Chile and the payment of all taxes. We are in agreement with that, totally in agreement, so much so that we have consistently supported the advancement of the regulation project. SEE FULL INTERVIEW IN LA TERCERA
The lawyer has also sent a letter to the economic newspaper Diario Financiero: SEE HERE
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