Whether just for brick-and-mortar casinos or for the whole iGaming industry, that is under discussion
March 18th was a radical day for Chile’s casinos. Due to COVID-19, the government enacted a nationwide lockdown to narrow down the spread of the virus. Until further notice this lockdown will remain, having the casino industry suffering more and more. It is expected that the recovery period will take between 12 and 18 months. Even if they can reopen soon, they cannot operate in the way they did before. Protective measures, such as keeping social distance and enabling a lower number of machines, must be implemented. By that not every employee can go back to work.
Taking this into consideration, gaming industry officials and leaders demand the legalisation and set up of regulations for online gambling. Therefore, a channel will get created that offers an alternative to add new resources and recover from the crisis.
Since online gaming includes more than roulette, betting and virtual games a debate arose to either just allow casinos to operate online or to open the market for iGaming operators on a general level.
Interviewed by soloazar Francisco Leiva, former Chile Casino Superintendent, stated that “not only the casino industry is asking for an online gaming regulation. Onling gaming operators and providers, both national and international, are also demanding it.” Further it is his belief “that regulation is necessary due to the various positive effects that this means, in terms of creating a safe framework, offering consumer protection, developing an industry with the corresponding production chains and, at the same time, paying taxes.”
If legalising online gambling for the whole industry a more comprehensive regulatory framework can be established, fair legal standards will be pulled off in terms of technical, economic and social requirements and conditions. It is necessary to "guarantee the players’ trust, protect children and also take into account the state necessities related to anti-money laundering and terrorism-financing policies" the Superintendency of Gambling Casinos (SCJ) explained. Also “minors are protected with respect to their confrontation with the game, as well as the interests of the State related to the payment of taxes.” Facing taxation an additional revenue will be given to Chile’s government, what makes it extremely attractive.
Legalising and regulating the iGaming market is not a new topic to the government. Already before the corona crises ran over discussions were taken, now gotten even more important.
“In order to legislate on a new activity, such as online gambling, it is first necessary to have a complete understanding of the subject, so that its regulation and supervision are effective and allow its adaptation to the evident technological changes that could affect the way of exploitation.”, SCJ elaborates.