Posted on: July 4, 2022, 07:31h.
Last updated on: July 4, 2022, 07:31h.
Last week, Chilean soccer club Colo-Colo signed a sponsorship agreement with operator Coolbet. It is the largest deal in the history of Chilean sports, but casino operator Dreams has slammed it because Coolbet is operating illegally in the country.
Dreams filed a lawsuit against the platform last Tuesday for illegal operation of gambling activity. In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office of Ñuñoa, Chile, has already activated proceedings to collect background information on the National Association of Pro Soccer (ANFP, for its Spanish acronym) and six soccer teams.
Three months ago, the battle of established casinos against online gaming platforms began. The latter had grown exponentially during the pandemic, adding their brands as sponsors of several soccer teams. Dreams responded then, too, going on the attack against Betsson.
Red-Carding Sponsorship Agreements
Betsson became a sponsor of the same club in January. Now, Colo Colo, Chile’s most successful soccer team, signed a $3-million annual deal with Coolbet. The European betting company replaces South Pilsen as the main sponsor of its jersey, and Dreams entered the battle.
On June 24, Dreams learned through the press that Coolbet had settled in Chile, developing its casino gaming operation and sponsoring the Colo Colo club.
Through the company San Francisco Investment S.A., parent of the Monticello casino, Dreams filed a legal action. It accuses almost everyone involved in the negotiations of the sponsorship of violating several laws. These are related to the illegal operation of lotteries and games of chance without authorization from the Superintendence of Gaming Casinos.
Today, regulations prohibit gambling in Chile, except those specifically authorized by law. These include the state-run Chilean Charity Drive, the Concepción Lottery, equestrian races and land-based casinos. Because the law doesn’t mention any other form of gambling, the consensus is that online gambling in Chile is illegal.
From its website, it is possible to verify that Coolbet is an official sponsor in addition to Colo Colo, of the Deportes Quillón club of the VIII Region, and is also promoted in Chile with public figures such as former footballer Rodrigo Kalule Meléndez,” reads the lawsuit involving Coolbet.
Since 2019, the Superintendency of Casinos has filed 22 complaints against betting platforms. In addition to Coolbet, the complaints have targeted Casinoenchile, Juegaenlínea, Pokerenchile, Rivalo, LeoVegas, Casinoonlineenchile, Rojabet, Betway, Betfair and others.
Colo Colo, Coolbet Cahoots
Dreams points out in its lawsuit that Coolbet is offering sports betting, casino, live casino and virtual sports action directly to the Chilean market. It accuses the platform of operating outside the law. It submitted as evidence an image of the Coolbet website, where it states that Coolbet manages deposits and withdrawals in Chilean pesos. The company’s also lawyers hint at this being a possible source of money laundering.
Its website does not mention who Coolbet’s representatives in Chile are. It also fails to include the legal vehicle through which it operates in the country and the address of the company. However, Dreams adds that, in order for it to have been able to legitimately sign the contracts, it must have some kind of legal standing in Chile.
The legal action asks that the president of Colo Colo, Alfredo Stöhwing, appear to testify precisely to provide background to substantiate the sponsorship. In parallel, Dreams’ lawyers placed the competition in the 8th Court of Guarantee. This is the same location where the Prosecutor’s Office of Ñuñoa already began the investigation of the previous complaint against Betsson.
The Prosecutor’s Office has already ordered investigators to seize data at the ANFP’s facilities, according to Dreams’ lawyer Vinko Fodich. He added that this should be carried out in the coming weeks. In addition, it will allow the office to seek documentation that proves the links that online gaming platforms have with Chilean soccer.