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Betting in Chile

Published on: 30/11/2015

In 1810, Napoleon dethroned The Spanish King, giving Chile the opportunity to become an Independent nation. Chile’s government has since undergone many alterations but the country’s independence has always remained steadfast.

The military dictator, General Auguste Pinochet took control over Chile in 1973 and ruled until 1990. During that time, thousands of people that opposed his reign were arrested and tortured, and many more were murdered. Vast numbers of the Chilean population escaped the horror by fleeing the country in order to stay alive.

Under General Pinochet all forms of betting were strictly forbidden. Since the end of his governance, regulations have become more lenient; however, games with prizes or cash rewards are still not officially permitted under the constitution - a restriction unchanged since the 1980s. Despite the rules of constitution, Chile has gradually become more relaxed about gaming and now offers its citizens two national lotteries, the Polla Chilena and The Loteria de Concepcion. Since 2004, both lotteries have been fully computerised.

In 2005, a new legislation was created making gambling venues legal. As a result, licensed casinos started to be built in earnest, and now over 30 establishments and gaming resorts can be found in over 20 cities throughout the country.

Before the 1990s, the only legal gambling activity was horserace betting. As a result, there is high demand for the activity amongst citizens. Today, the main horse racing tracks are located in Talchuano Concepcion and Antofagasta, with a further three located near Santiago - all of which also host a dog racing track. Betting pools for both types of races are available in all of the venues.

More recently, in 2008, a Lottery Company known as Polla Chilena created an up-to-date gambling facility with the approval of the government. The betting system is accessible at over 2,000 kiosks throughout the country and has become so popular that the business now offers gambling activities via the Internet. Currently this online option is the only one of its kind.

Because Polla Chilea is the only company in the nation providing online gambling, Chilean punters are increasingly wagering via foreign sportsbooks. Surprisingly, the Chilean authorities have yet to review the restrictions.

Numerous countries throughout Europe have banned their citizens from gambling via foreign bookies. However, the Chilean government report that they are unable to follow suit as it is impossible to restrict access to legal gambling companies based abroad.

Foreign sports books have taken advantage of the fact by allowing Chilean citizens to gamble via their betting web sites - most of which are available in the Spanish language. There are hundreds on offer including many well known names such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Unibet and William Hill. The Chilean government have also introduced a new law which allows International cruise ships to keep onboard gambling facilities open whilst located in Chilean waters. This positive step means that it is more likely that tourists will visit the country ports. Before the new regulation was in place cruise liners were completely bypassing Chileans territory.