If you ask many people their most abiding memory of Chile it’s likely they’ll immediately tell you where they were then they found out the trapped miners were safe. In betting terms it’s likely to have something to do with the soccer team’s World Cup exploits in the late 90s. Don’t let it surprise you if it’s almost impossible to gleam anything from industry insiders on this mountainous country’s iGaming industry.
Right now, the situation is no different to what it was in 1995. In that year a law was passed that bans online gaming operation and anyone caught is reported by the country’s regulator to the judicial authorities. This isn’t to say the country’s regulatory regime doesn’t have a grand plan to milk the online gambling industry’s udders for all they’re worth though.
Carlos Silva Alliende, Head of the legal department at the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego, and the rest of his team are working on regulation that will take place “pretty soon” and player protection is utmost in their thoughts. It’s perhaps not surprising they’re looking at both Spain and Panama for inspiration given the lack of a language barrier. Chile also intends to take on board what Italy and Belgium have done in terms of regulation.
When online gaming is regulated, the focus will be on the online casino market given its popularity in the land-based sector. Slots are something the regulators are already looking into as their best chance of success and they could find it being the first of a number of successful online products. The Latin American market as a whole was worth around $32 billion in 2011 alone and ecommerce growth of around 50 percent means it’s certain to grow even further in the future.
With the correct strategy and taxation system it’s clear that Chile could make a success of the online gaming industry much like many of their neighbours and give the government a reason to smile.