23 November 2020
SoloAzar Exclusive

´I am convinced that we have an opportunity to regulate online gambling in Chile´- Francisco Leiva

(Chile, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Francisco Leiva Vega, Expert in Casino Regulation, granted an interview to SoloAzar, in which he talked about the current situation of the games of chance sector in Chile, and the need to legalize online gaming in order to create a secure regulatory frame and to be able to collect the corresponding taxes.

In recent months and due to the pandemic, the need to consider the legalization of online gambling has accelerated. How do you see the situation in Chile today?
Certainly the pandemic has raised the issue of the opportunities generated by e-commerce in different areas of life. However, in the case of Chile, unfortunately I believe that this has not been sufficiently understood by the authorities, so that the legalization of online gambling is a matter of concern and interest.

I am convinced that we have an opportunity to regulate online gambling, not only because it is a reality that must be taken care of, but also because it generates tax revenue. In addition, it is a source of employment and that encourages vertical development, since it is not only limited to the market of online gambling operators, but also allows the development of the market of technology providers for that industry.

Thus, governments and regulators absolutely need to create a secure framework, offer consumer protection and, at the same time, that online games pay the corresponding taxes. However, we are conditioned to the executive branch presenting a bill that regulates online gambling, since it is a matter that is the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic, since it must set taxes and define the powers of an organism public that should regulate the online gaming industry.

Consequently, it is essential to carry out awareness-raising actions among decision-makers, which includes legislators, so that they know the benefits of a situation with regulation compared to the current situation that inhibits the development of an industry and, get them to decide regulate online gambling. Since there is ignorance about how this industry has developed worldwide and that the apprehensions they may have, have been assumed by regulations that have already been tested in various countries.

What impact could an eventual opening up at the social level have versus the economic and tax benefits associated with its development?
Various socially negative effects are now possible to mitigate since there are technologies to maintain online security, verify the location and age of the people who use them and, the monitoring of transactions for a correct tax control and prevention of laundering of assets; which, given the lack of regulation, makes that control much more difficult. Precisely, these technological advances make it possible to reduce the negative impacts and explain why different governments are prone to introduce regimes for the granting of online gambling licenses and tax regulations for those who manufacture or offer social games and electronic sports.

Therefore, the opening of a regulated online gambling market cannot currently be considered to be a generator of negative externalities, as those who are unaware of this industry believe.