Until very recently, Chile had very restrictive gambling laws. Until the turn of the millennium, a lot of forms of gambling were illegal or at least so heavily restricted that there was almost nowhere to turn for that kind of gaming experience.
With the Republic of Chile’s gradual growth into a solid tourist destination, gambling has become much more accepted, with all forms of gambling now legal. But are there any differences you should expect if you are an outsider looking to enjoy sports betting in Chile?
Is Sports Betting Popular in Chile?
Chile offers a lot of sports betting – or apuestas deportivas – opportunities. Over time, Chile has been able to build up a fairly strong gambling community, even if there are still some restrictions in place as a result of the recent changes all across the Republic.
Sports betting arrived in Chile – legally, at least – in 2008. Through technology provided by Gtech, a lottery operator was able to install over two-thousand betting terminals across Chile, providing the first taste of sports betting to the public.
Now, sports betting as a whole has become increasingly popular in Chile, with online betting specifically gaining even more traction than the original terminals did. Thanks to smartphones becoming more and more common in Chile, this market has only gotten bigger and bigger with time.
How Does Chile Restrict Sports Betting?
The status of online gambling in Chile is complicated, but not in a way that most people expect. Online gambling, in general, is technically still illegal, but the government has made multiple pushes to legalize it, and nobody who gambles online is actually stopped from doing so.
This kind of “soft legality” can be off-putting to visitors at first, but it really just means that the laws are still catching up to the sudden boom in online gambling games. Chile’s online gambling sites are able to operate comfortably in the country and have even been able to compete with other companies across the globe, meaning that sports betting is not going to get you arrested.
Notably, Chile’s government considers all winnings in gambling to be tax-free, meaning that no winnings go to the state.
Is Chile Sports Betting Open to Tourists?
Whether you are visiting for work, for pleasure, or just as part of a trip elsewhere in the world, you can enjoy sports betting within Chile. Many of the platforms operating there even use US dollars or Euros as their primary currency since they are international businesses that cover more countries than just Chile itself.
While there is obviously a concern that the Chilean government will push for more gambling regulations, very few changes have been seen. Most online gambling in Chile goes unnoticed, at least for now.
No matter what happens, the future of sports betting in Chile looks surprisingly bright. Not only can you sports bet in Chile, but most sportsbook sites and platforms are accessible to anybody who wants to play, meaning that even short-term visitors can enjoy some sports betting if they have the time.