This is a guide to brick and mortar as well as online casinos in Chile. Find out what the best casinos and online casino sites are in Chile, or learn more about the legal status of casino gambling in the country.
Online casinos in Chile
Legal status: illegal, players are not prosecuted
Most forms of gambling are legal in Chile, but online casino gambling is not among them, at least officially. The law regulating gambling in Chile is the Establece las Bases Generales para la Autorizacion, Funcionamento y Fiscalizacion de Casinos de Juego. This law explicitly states that the operation of online casino gambling is not allowed under any circumstances.
The complete ban may seem rather surprising, as the Chilean online gambling market is a significant one. Chile has a population of over 18 million, over 50% of which have an access to internet.
Casino gambling has a long tradition in Chile, and is one of the more popular pastimes in the country. As a result, it is not exactly surprising that online casino gambling is also quite popular among Chilean gamblers, in spite of the lack of domestic online casinos.
Fortunately for the locals, the definitive ban of all forms of online games of chance is not strictly enforced. While there are obviously no locally licensed or operated online casino sites based in Chile, Chilean players still have quite a few options.
The Chilean government has not introduced any measures to actually stop locals from accessing international online casino sites. This means that Chilean gamblers are still free to play on any online casino sites available to them with no repercussions. Most online casinos welcome players from Chile, and are available in both English and Spanish.
Online casinos accepting players from Chile
Here’s a selection of online casinos I’ve tried and recommend wholeheartedly. Choose from these trustworthy online casinos available in Chile, or read on to find out more about the legal status and history of gambling and casinos in Chile!
Land-based casinos in Chile
While online casinos are illegal in Chile, their brick and mortar counterparts are legal, and have been for quite a while. The first casinos in the country opened as early as 1852, which means that casino gambling has an important tradition in Chile.
The law currently regulating land-based casinos in Chile is the law no. 19.995 of 2004. Casinos that wish to operate legally in Chile must obtain a licence from the Chilean gambling control board, the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego.
This entity controls the number of casino licences that are issued. At the moment, there are 17 casinos in Chile, located in 11 regions of Chile. The minimum age of gambling in Chile is 18 years. The SCJ also determines the types of games that are allowed in Chilean casinos. There are 5 categories of games allowed: roulette, card games, dice games, bingo and slot machines. These categories, along with the specific games listed within them, cover all of the more well-known casino games.
The largest casino in Chile is the Sun Monticello Casino and Hotel located in San Francisco de Mostazal. The Sun Monticello Casino hosts a staggering amount of slot machines – over 1500! – as well as 80 gaming tables with games such as Blackjack, Craps, Punto Banco, American Roulette, and Caribbean Stud Poker. The casino also includes a bingo hall as well as multiple bars and restaurants.
Other forms of online gambling in Chile
The Establece las Bases Generales para la Autorizacion, Funcionamento y Fiscalizacion de Casinos de Juego of 2004 explicitly states that no forms of online gambling operations are allowed in Chile. This naturally means that online gambling operators may not receive a licence.
There are, however, some exception to this rule. The Chilean national lottery, the Lotería de la Concepción created in 1921 does have an online presence, and their games are available from their website. This includes online tickets to their various lottery draws, as well as online scratchcards and instant games, which aren’t exactly far from what one might consider online casino games.
Sports betting is also apparently excluded from the list of online games banned by the gambling law. The only licensed sportsbook in Chile is Xperto, which is also available online. Chilean players may bet on football matches (by far the most popular sport in Chile), Formula 1 races, hockey, tennis and handball.
Although there are some locally licensed online gambling sites in Chile, they do not exactly offer a wide range of options or quality games. Luckily for the local gamblers, there is nothing preventing them from playing on international online gambling sites.
There are no laws in Chile that would prevent playing on unlicensed sites for individual players. This is true even when there is a licensed option, such as in the case of online sports betting and online casinos. Chilean gamblers are free to play on any international online gambling sites available to them.
The future of online casinos in Chile
At the moment, online casinos are not allowed in Chile. Online casinos may not apply for or receive a licence from the SCJ, and therefore may not operate legally. This is despite the fact that Chile would constitute a large online casino market, and many players from Chile already play on foreign online gambling sites.
Legalising and regulating online casino gambling would likely lead to a significant revenue stream for the Chilean government in the form of licensing fees and taxes from online casino gambling. The national lottery of Chile has been lobbying for the legalisation of online casinos, which would mean that they, too could expand the array of games they offer.
Some steps have been taken towards this goal in 2012, when a new legislation that would allow a limited number of licensed online casinos was drafted. However, this legislation has not passed, and there is no word on when it may be introduced.
This article supplements the general guide to the legal status of gambling in Chile.
Simon’s Guide to Land-based and Online Casinos in Chile is part of Simon’s Online Casino Guide.
Last updated: 2017-09-15