Chile’s Online Betting Ban Misses the Mark as Operators Bypass Controls
Posted on: September 21, 2023, 06:53h.
Last updated on: September 21, 2023, 01:02h.
Following the resolution of Chile’s Supreme Court that declared the operation of online betting platforms illegal in the country, it has become clear that some operators aren’t willing to play ball. Government authorities are now playing a figurative game of Whack-A-Mole with them as they switch out website names and URLs to continue serving Chilean bettors.
The Supreme Court ruled that all online sportsbooks were in violation of the law because there was no legislation that allowed them to operate. The one exception is La Polla Chilena, a state-run gaming operator.
However, through social media platforms, authorities have realized that some operators are masking their true identity. They’re redirecting users to new URLs or changing the names of their sites to thwart government attempts to block them.
Hiding Behind a Mask
The Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Claudio Araya, who supported the ban, addressed the situation in a recent interview with Chilean radio station ADN. He even highlighted the possibility of these online betting operators taking their sites to other countries, but still targeting Chilean bettors.
No one has singled out which operators are trying to bypass the controls, possibly in an attempt by the government not to tip its hand. The Supreme Court had ordered a ban on the existing URLs of 1Xbet, bet365, Betano, Betcris, Betfair, Betplay, Betsson, Betwarrior, Betway, Betsala, Bodog, Bwin, Coolbet, Estelarbet, Juegaenlinea, KTO, Latamwin, Marathonbet, Micasino.com, Rojabet, Rivalo, Rushbet and Sportingbet.
Araya said during the interview that the government realizes the battle it faces. He admitted that there’s a risk that the URLs will change and that the authorities will have to modify the ban.
Likewise, the undersecretary indicated that work is being done to possibly alter the language of the court ruling. Instead of targeting the URLs, the government may ensure the ban covers the operators themselves.
That, he hopes, would make Chile’s job easier. The government would notify the operator that it’s not welcome in Chile in any form and force it to block all access.
Users at Risk
Araya indicated that the Superintendency of Casinos, Betting, and Games of Chance, Chile’s gaming regulator, is preparing a list of URLs that must be blocked. That list could arrive on Thursday or Friday, after which, there will be no question in the government’s mind about what URLs and operators are unwelcome.
Araya also emphasized the risk that betting may entail from now on in the country, asserting that bettors have to know the platforms are banned, which means an operator that’s live in the country is operating illegally.
Therefore, from Araya’s point of view, there’s no guarantee users will receive any winnings. His assumption is that companies like Betcris, Betsson, and others with an established place in the global gaming industry would steal from their customers.
The Supreme Court ruling only addressed particular operators, but others face the same ban. Chilean authorities are now scrutinizing the online betting market to determine if there are more operators that it needs to include on its list.
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