After clearing Sports Committee

Bill to ban online gambling ads in sports clubs advances in Chile; to be debated in the Lower House

The Sports Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Chile.
Reading time 2:12 min

The Sports Committee of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies approved and forwarded the bill that seeks to prohibit the presence of advertising of online gambling houses in clubs and sporting events, both in person and on radio, as well as on television and via streaming. The bill will now go to the Chamber for approval.

During the session, held on Tuesday, the committee also appointed Deputy Marco Sulantay, author of the bill, as the informant of the bill, i.e., he will be in charge of presenting the approved text before the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies.

In an interview with Yogonet, Sulantay explained that "probably within a month" the text will be presented to the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies. Then, he said, there will be "a general discussion" of the text, and the rest of the legislators "will be able to give some suggestions" -propose some changes- and then it will be voted on and, eventually, it will be sent to the Senate.

He was satisfied with the approved text because "basically it fulfills the spirit of the project, which has to do with contributing to the transparency of sports activities, with an emphasis on soccer".

Chilean Deputy Marco Sulantay.

In this regard, the deputy of the Independent Democratic Union party argued that sports organizations "should not have a relationship" with online sportsbooks, because their profits "depend on the results of their clients, with whom they sign advertising contracts".

Sulantay also highlighted the importance of the fines proposed by the text, set at between 500 and 2,000 UTM - Monthly Tax Unit, set at 59,595 Chilean pesos, about $60 - "They are important because sometimes the laws are very good, but because the fines are low, sometimes it is more convenient for the companies to pay the fines", he said. 

In turn, the congressman reiterated that he is not against the approval of a regulatory framework for the online gambling sector in his country, but that he still disagrees with such companies having commercial relations with sports organizations.

He added that the betting houses that may be legalized in Chile could "advertise in the media with some restrictions, such as appearing in the written media, "as long as they do not appear in a sports section".

12-month period to conclude contracts

Regarding the text of the bill, the Sports Commission decided by majority to grant a 12-month term to sports organizations to resolve and conclude the sponsorship contracts they have entered into with sports betting operators. The term will start to run once the regulation is approved and published.

Sulantay was in favor of such guidelines and said that "the idea is not to extort, squeeze or asphyxiate the clubs", nor to force them to "return a large amount of money that more often than not has already been spent".

"There is a deadline there so that this can be properly implemented. All those who have current contracts between sportsbooks and sports organizations have to review those contracts, terminate them," he said.

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