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Sports Betting in Chile vs the US: Laws, Taxes & More

For years, anyone in the U.S. who wanted to bet on sports would have had to travel to Nevada. 2018 saw this federal law lifted by the Supreme Court who handed each state the autonomy to choose whether or not they would legalize sports gambling.

Chile saw similar limitations, with sports betting outlawed until 2008. Pollo Chilena already ran the country’s lottery and was granted permission to offer fixed odds sports betting.

Laws in the U.S. regarding sports betting are typically more complicated as they differ between states. Each state can manage their own gambling regulations or install an independent regulator. The gambling market in Chile is regulated by the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ).

The minimum age for gambling in Chile is 18 across the board; this also differs in the U.S., with states operating different regulations. Minimium age requirements typically vary between 18 and 21. In some states both age limits apply based on the establishment having an alcohol licence or not. 

As of July 2023, the number of states that have legalized sports betting is up to 37, with 28 states legalizing mobile sports betting as well. With the potential for high revenues and easy access to offshore betting sites, this number is set to rise in the future.

The legalization of online gambling in Chile is on track for 2023. Planned tax rates include 15% income tax charges for customers making withdrawals from online accounts. Operators that are granted licenses will cost UTM1,000 for renewable 5-year licenses and sports betting will be taxed 20% on the gross income. Additional fees of 2% from sportsbooks will be allocated to the sport’s national federation and 1% for initiatives that promote responsible gambling.

U.S. sports betting taxes and fees vary significantly by state. Rhode Island operates a 51% tax on retail and online sports betting compared to the 6.75% paid on both in Nevada. Licensing fees also differ with Nevada charging just $500 and Massachusetts charging $5,000,000.

The Chilean betting market includes soccer, basketball, horse racing, boxing, rugby, baseball, and much more. This gives sports bettors a wide variety of markets to choose from compared with the relatively limited options available in some U.S. states.

Online betting provides greater convenience and choice in the U.S. and Chile. Speciality apps can also provide far greater markets, preferential odds, and other incentives that offer national and international betting opportunities. There are many options available; for example, you can use a soccer betting app that offers few markets, but gives you many soccer bet lines. But, in most of the best bookmakers in the USA, you will find extensive betting markets, which include a wide variety of sports. (Source:

Developments in Chile and the freedom that online sports betting will bring with it have simplified the gambling landscape in the country. The regulations in place offer transparency that is often found lacking in the U.S. 

Differences between states complicate matters and regulations including different betting ages for different markets and limitations on sports betting markets are hampering the potential revenues that could be generated. Chile looks set to capitalize on this market much quicker than their American counterparts.

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