his week, former superintendent of the new casino industry shared his insight on the current state of affairs and online gaming potential for Yogonet.
Francisco Leiva explains that gambling, in its physical or online forms, is banned in Chile unless otherwise stated by particular and exceptional laws, as is the case with the casinos, the Chilean Commission for Welfare, the Lottery of Concepción and horse racetracks. “It has been banned as a follow-up of a lacking of legal regulations on the matter."
He is critical of this scenario: “Historically, banning natural human acts, such as playing and having fun, has not led to positive outcomes, on the contrary: it has only exacerbated abuse and clandestinity.”
Both the Chilean Commission for Welfare and the Lottery of Concepción rely on online platforms, but only to sell games such as Loto and Kito. However, Leiva comments that both entities offer online gaming similar to the Scratch-n-Win games. These operators have bent the rules by selling online or electronic versions of these games, some of them even resembling slots.
The ex-official clarifies that the operators are not breaching the rules by doing this: “The are legally sheltered by the fact that they are offering online versions of the lottery, which is a game officially authorised by the Chilean Commission for Welfare and the Lottery of Concepción.”
Leiva thinks gaming has developed erratically in Chile, through specific laws for each market and away from a systemic outlook. "If a comprehensive legal framework, including all sectors of the gaming industry (casinos, Commission, Lottery of Concepción, racetracks, slots, sports betting, online gaming– was implemented, then we would also need a unique controlling agency overviewing, as is the case with the Nevada Commission," states Leiva.
He states that gaming regulation impacts several areas: “We could infer that gross gaming transactions would involve not less than USD 1000 million a year, with revenue of no less than USD 100 million yearly, depending on taxes involved."
Leiva was at the forefront of the Casino Commission between 2005 and 2012. He is still linked to the industry as a consultant for the Trade Association for Operators, Manufacturers and Importers of Electronic Entertainment (FIDEN).