September 21, 2023 2 min read

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Chile Bans Offshore Sportsbooks But Operators Remain Adaptive

The online sports betting market has once again demonstrated its notorious resilience

A few days ago, The Supreme Court of Chile decided to ban unlicensed sports betting websites. However, weeding out offshore sportsbooks might prove a difficult task.

Accepting a protection appeal by Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego, Chile’s gambling regulator, the Supreme Court issued the ban on sports betting websites on internet service provider (ISP) Mundo Pacífico. The decision reflects Chile’s overall ban on sports betting, which the country considers to be very dangerous.

While the Latin American country advanced a bill that might legalize online gambling in the country, the Chilean government remains firmly opposed to betting, which can have serious “social consequences.”

The vote to block offshore betting sites was unanimously approved, leading to the bans of URLs connected to the international gambling firms bet365, Betway, Entain and Rush Street Interactive, among others.

The ban also prevents the companies in question from striking sponsorship agreements with local sports clubs. It may also cause trouble for existing customers of these websites as they might find themselves unable to withdraw their funds.

Operators Find Ways to Avoid the Ban

Despite the Chilean government’s decision to ban sites other than the state-run lottery La Polla Chilena de Beneficencia, the online sports betting market has once again demonstrated its notorious resilience.

Adapting quickly to the URL bans, multiple offshore sports betting operators reportedly changed the names of their sites or moved to new URLs, impeding the government’s efforts to block them. Some might move their sites to other countries while continuing to target Chilean consumers, Undersecretary of Telecommunications Claudio Araya noted.

According to Araya, the government is aware that the battle is likely to be tough, which is why modifications to the ban might be needed. He believes that the government may be eventually required to ban the companies themselves, instead of blocking their Chile-facing URLs.

The Chilean regulator is yet to publish its full list of URLs that must be blocked. The list may expand as authorities continue to examine the market.

Araya reaffirmed Chile’s conviction that sports betting is harmful and said that operators must not try to evade the country’s laws.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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