ANFP and Betsson: Chilean football breaks its ties with a betting house after the harsh warning from the Government

A Betsson Promotion League match in Chile, organized by the National Professional Football Association.Pablo Quiroz (ANFP)

The National Professional Football Association (ANFP), the entity that organizes professional football championships in Chile, announced this Wednesday the end of its contract with the online betting house Betsson, a brand that sponsored the First Division tournaments and First B (second division). The breaking of the link takes place a month after the Ministry of Justice of the left-wing Government of Gabriel Boric warned the sports organization that it had to cut its commercial relationship with the company.

In a brief statement, the ANFP has said that the contract currently in force with the Swedish company will end on October 15. In addition, he noted that the decision to end the business came from the company.

On September 1, the Undersecretary of Justice, Jaime Gajardo, announced the conclusions of an investigation that had been requested by a group of deputies, who questioned whether the ANFP – a non-profit private law corporation – would enter into an alliance with an online betting house that did not pay taxes in the South American country. The Chilean Executive concluded that the relationship between the parties was not legal, so it gave them a period of 30 days to finalize the contract. If that did not materialize, the organizer of the national championships could lose its legal personality. The Chilean football leaders tried to reverse the government’s determination through an appeal to the Court of Appeals of Santiago, which was finally not admitted.

The ANFP and Betsson signed a bond in January of this year, agreeing that the brand would sponsor the national tournament under its name – until now it was called Betsson Championship—. The operation reached an amount that reached 2.5 million dollars.

Sports betting companies online They fully entered the Chilean soccer industry by sponsoring several clubs. Teams such as the University of Chile and Colo Colo, the most popular in the South American country, began to show off these brands on their t-shirts. Its presence has been rejected especially by legal betting agencies and established casinos, who have accused these companies of carrying out a business illegally by not paying taxes in Chilean territory.

On September 12, the detractors of this business scored an important legal victory after the Supreme Court accepted an appeal presented by Polla Chilena de Beneficencia – a state betting agency – and ordered to block access to the websites of 23 gambling houses. online betting with address abroad. The resolution focused only on one internet provider company (Mundo Telecomunicaciones, the third largest in the country), but was interpreted as a precedent for future decisions of general scope.

Despite the drastic vision of the Ministry of Justice on betting houses, there is also a favorable position among the authorities to regularize the sector. In June 2023, the Ministry of Finance submitted a series of indications to the Chilean Congress to advance a project that would regulate the betting house industry. They establish the creation of a tax called the responsible gaming contribution rate equivalent to 1% of annual gross income. Added to this was another tax for the user and an annual tax for each operating license delivered.

The end of the contract with Betsson comes in the midst of a crisis in Chilean football, which worsened after FIFA left the South American country out of the organization of the 2030 World Cup, which will finally be organized in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, with the first matches being held in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. The president of the ANFP, Pablo Milad, was the target of criticism from Chilean fans, who were excited about repeating the feat of 1962, when the Latin American nation managed to win a World Cup with little state support.

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