Chile is a country of 18 million people on the southwestern coast of South America. Chile had gone through a lot of turmoil in recent history, particularly in the period between 1960-1990, the latter half of which saw the country ruled by a right wing military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, which saw thousands of people put to death for political reasons.
However, Chile has made a huge comeback, and not only now have the highest per capita income among South American countries, they also rank high in other important markers of prosperity, peace, and democracy. (1)
Gambling has also prospered a lot since the Pinochet regime ended, where gambling was mostly prohibited here, but it’s now both completely legal and widespread, with Chileans enjoying and participating in a wide variety of gambling activities today, including casino gaming, poker, lotteries sports betting, and horse racing. (2)
Horse racing is the only form of gambling that was still allowed during the Pinochet era, and it remains very popular here, and sports betting is even more popular in Chile. Chile also has not one but two major lotteries, and the people of Chile certainly like to gamble, and have ample opportunity to do so.
Chile has a total of 12 casinos right now, spread out over 9 different cities, and while the focus here is on tourism as is the case with casinos in other South American countries, locals are welcome at them as well. (3)
Chile has been looking at expanding their land based casino presence for a number of years now, looking to add an additional 17 casinos, which they have been looking at doing for over 10 years now, but at the present time the project has been placed on hold. We may indeed see an expansion of casino gambling here at some point down the road though.
Chile also now has regulated online gambling, as they have granted a limited number of licenses, and may look to expand the reach of this soon, although it’s not clear as to whether there are any plans to add poker to their offering, or at least attempt to do so, as just wanting licensed online poker rooms and having some that are actually viable isn’t quite the same thing.
Online gambling in Chile is otherwise illegal, although the government has not as of yet taken any measures to interfere with access to foreign online gambling sites, so players are free to play wherever they wish at the present time. It’s said that the Chilean government is looking toward what some European countries have done with online gambling regulation though, and we may see full fledged regulation here at some point in the coming years. (4)
Poker in Chile
Poker has really gained in popularity in South America over the last few years, and Chile is no exception, and in fact poker is particularly popular in Chile. Some of the casinos here offer poker, but like most other South American countries, there is very limited access to live poker and almost all of the poker that is played is played online, although that’s true everywhere these days.
There’s still a pretty vibrant live poker scene here though, and players can find quite a few poker tournaments being run at the casinos, in addition to cash games. The Latin American Poker Tour has a stop in Chile and that has no doubt helped popularize the game here, as it has in other countries.
In spite of it being technically illegal here to gamble on foreign based online poker sites, this really doesn’t stop anyone, and this law isn’t really enforced, not that you can really enforce such a law anyway, but there’s no attempt to block people from playing on them by the government in any case, nor are any other barriers erected that would interfere with Chilean players enjoying online poker.
Even more notably, in spite of the law on online poker, online poker sites do not consider Chile to be a grey area at all, and even the most conservative of them, Party Poker, who don’t take players from a very long list of countries, take players from Chile without any problem at all.
Most online poker rooms offer players the ability to play in Spanish, the language of Chile and most of South America, so there’s no real language barrier here either.
Poker still isn’t as popular in Chile as it is in some other countries, and therefore there still is a lot of potential for growth, but over time we are seeing the game gain more and more in popularity with each passing year, as we are seeing in Latin America generally as well, and while the popularity of poker has leveled off a bit in some other regions of the world, it will likely continue to grow in Chile for a while.
Top Online Poker Sites Accepting Players From Chile
There are some great poker sites that are very willing to accept you if you are an online poker player from Chile. All of our top picks offer play in Spanish as well as several other popular languages, and all are ready to welcome new players to their sites with some very nice bonus cash as well, as a bribe to you for just giving them a try.
888 Poker leads off our selections for Chilean players, and this site has won the award for poker site of the year for 3 years running, so it’s a big hit with the critics. More importantly, poker players love it as well and there is tons of traffic here and everything about this place is top notch in fact.
Players from Chile also have access to Party Poker, who, like 888 Poker, have been at the forefront of online poker since the beginning. Party Poker has been a site that players have loved to play at over all these years, and all they have done since is gotten better, and their mission is to provide you with the best poker on the internet, and they do a fine job at this.
Titan Poker and their sister site Bet365 Poker are the top 2 sites on the fabulously popular iPoker Network, which also happens to be the world’s largest poker network. They also provide you access to players from dozens of other poker rooms, and keeping the network fishy is its top priority, which is a big plus for players of all skill levels.
Black Chip Poker is even fishier, and while they don’t have quite the traffic of our other four picks, it’s not just about traffic, and since this is a relatively unknown site, there’s even less good players here, and that’s a real desirable characteristic for a poker site to have. The site itself is a very good one as well and they are very eager to prove themselves to you.
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