Chile is in the process of attempting to legalize online gaming and sports betting. Betsson reportedly didn’t wait for the arrival, and casinos are denouncing the “illegal” entry of the online gaming company.
Earlier this month, Dreams’ Monticello casino filed a complaint and charged Betsson with illegal gambling exploitation. The casino asserted that the sportsbook violates several articles of the country’s criminal code related to the illegal exploitation of lotteries and games of chance. It added that it does not have authorization from the Superintendence of Gaming Casinos (SCJ, for its Spanish acronym) to operate in the country.
That legal fight continues to gain more support from the casino industry. Another Dreams property, Valdivia, hopes its arrival will strengthen the opposition and force the government to intervene.
Chilean Operators Unhappy With Betsson
Monticello learned of the existence of the Betsson Chile website in 2020. The site offers the general public sports betting, a casino, a live casino, and virtual sports. However, it has no license to operate in the country.
Dreams asked the prosecutor’s office to issue a broad order to investigate the facts reported to the Chilean Investigation Police. This would determine the crimes Betsson has allegedly committed, and if any individuals should be charged.
Workers at the Dreams Valdivia Hotel Casino & Spa are demonstrating their support for the court order against the sportsbook, as well. The president of the workers’ union, Bernardita Patiño, on behalf of the union, is adding pressure on the prosecutor to take action.
The operation of unfair competition, through an illegal business, is a threat to the labor sources of the more than 28,000 people who work in person and directly in the gambling casino industry in Chile,” states Union of Workers of Casino Dreams Valdivia President Bernardita Patiño.
Patiño asked the government to intervene quickly and firmly around this offer, that under the label of sports betting, Betsson is offering online casino games.
In the complaint filed with the Prosecutor’s Office and also signed by two former prosecutors, Vinko Fodich and Alejandro Peña, Patiño wrote, “The operation and exploitation of the website www.betsson.com/cl, with domain also www.betsson.cl, constitutes the transgression and commission of” criminal activity.
Dreams attorney Carlos Silva adds that platforms like those Betsson offers are outside Chilean law. They undermine public sentiment and are susceptible to money laundering. In addition, they don’t provide any tax revenue to the country. Because of their questionable status, Silva believes having ties to sports organizations sends a confusing message.
Betsson Investigation Underway
Betsson’s presence in Chile is already under review. Responding to the pressure from casinos, the SCJ stated that it began analyzing the company’s operations before Dreams made its first complaint.
The regulator hasn’t said where it stands in its investigation, or if it feels the accusations are valid. Once it completes its review, it will forward the information to the Public Ministry. That entity will then determine if Betsson broke any laws and if any punishments are deserved.
Chile’s gambling industry is at a defining moment. iGaming is on deck, waiting to step up to the plate. Heavy-hitters like Betsson might have too much of an advantage over regional players. This explains why those in the latter group want to see them strikeout.
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