Also summons journalists

Chilean Justice reopens investigation against online platforms, summons former soccer players and executives to testify

Reading time 1:37 min

The Chilean Judiciary announced its decision to reopen a criminal investigation against online betting platforms and, as part of the process, ordered to summon former football players, sports club directors, and journalists. It also summoned, as a defendant, businessman Fernando Felicevich.

According to BioBioChile, the Fourth Court of Guarantee of Santiago accepted the request of the plaintiffs regarding the need to carry out new proceedings "before closing the investigation."

It should be noted that in October 2023, the Public Prosecutor's Office decided to archive the complaints filed by land-based casinos and the Polla Chilena de Beneficencia (Chile's state-owned operator) against the online gambling companies, which it accused of illegal operations.

In this context, authorities indicated that this decision was taken because there was not enough evidence to file charges for a criminal offense, after a series of proceedings that lasted almost two years.

However, the plaintiffs have accused that the online operators "have incurred in acts that constitute the crime of illegal exploitation of lotteries and games of chance", and that their activity was declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

New proceedings

In light of the re-opening of the case, the Chilean Justice ordered, in an extended term of 180 days, a series of proceedings requested by the companies San Francisco Investment (operator of the Casino Dreams Monticello), Marina del Sol and the Polla Chilena de Beneficencia.

Among them, the businessman Fernando Felicevich, the most important player agent in Chilean soccer, was summoned to testify as a defendant. The summons responds to his "relationship with sports betting operators."

As witnesses, former soccer players Mauricio Pinilla, Jean Beausejour, Jorge Valdivia, Nicolás Peric, Patricio Yáñez, Rafael Olarra, Dante Poli, and Diego Rivarola, who work as communicators for the sports channel ESPN, will be asked to testify.

Additionally, sports journalists Francisco Sagredo, Grace Lazcano, Cristian Caamaño, Cristian Sánchez, Jorge Gómez, Gustavo Huerta, Sebastián Esnaola, Andrea Hernández and panelist Juli Zeitune will be summoned.

The presidents of Club Universidad de Chile, Michael Clark; Club Colo-Colo, Aníbal Mosa; Club de Deportes La Serena, Cristian Contador; Audax Italiano, Gonzalo Cilley; Ñublense, Sergio Gioino; Coquimbo Unido, Jorge Contador; and Everton Viña del Mar, Pedro Cedillo, will also be summoned.

Furthermore, information will be requested from the club's Audax Italiano and Deportes Unión La Calera about their sponsor Betway, "to provide the identity of its owners, representatives, and employees, the address of that company, who and how it finances its advertising participation". The same will happen with the Cobresal Club regarding the operator Rojabet.

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