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Chilean Casino and Card Room Gaming

Legislation passed in 2005 prompted a rapid expansion of the casino industry in Chile.

Before 2005, games of chance were prohibited. There were, however, several casinos legally operating at the time. These casinos, unlike slot halls, were protected by special legislation. The specific regulations of the casino operations were set by the municipality – there was no central gaming board controlling the industry.

In January 2005, the Chilean government passed the Casino Act and increased the limit of casinos in the country from seven to 24.

The Casino Act stipulates that each region in Chile will have a casino, with some allowed to have two. However, in order to expand its economy beyond its most populated city, the government determined there would be no new casinos built in Santiago.

The Casino Act also established the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ), which licenses and regulates the industry and performs compliance evaluations when new casinos become operational. The SCJ awarded 10 casino licenses in 2005. The Casino Act set a strict deadline for the casinos to open within two years of their approval.

By late 2008, 18 casinos authorized by the Casino Act began construction in the communes of Antofagasta, Talca and Talcahuano. Casinos in Brighton, Castro, Coyhaique, Los Ángeles, Mostazal, Ovalle, Pinto-Termas de Chillán and Santa Cruz were either continuing construction or had already opened at the time.

In February 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, devastating the region and slowing down the construction of the casinos. Eight casinos in total had to shut down temporarily but were in operation again by the end of the year.

In August 2010, the SCJ approved guidelines for WAP (Wide Area Progressive) jackpots to be made available at Chile's new casinos.

In October 2011, a bill to allow the operation of casinos on domestic and foreign ships was passed by the government in an effort to increase cruise tourism. In the previous three years, cruises showed a 40% drop. This was due to older casino legislation, which banned gambling on cruise ships while in Chilean territorial waters, causing operators to seek other ports.

Chilean Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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