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06 June 2012
In 2011 the government promoted a draft amendment of the regulation that applies to casinos based on cruise vessels, in order to increase economic competitiveness in this market and to bring Chile into line with other significant economic activities (for further details please see "Forthcoming changes to casino regulations for cruise vessels").
By November 2011 the draft had been completed and approved by Congress, and had become law. However, during discussion before Congress, several principles of the new regulation were discarded by the legislature, thus jeopardising the expected benefits of the new rules for casinos based on cruise vessels.
The original draft proposed to:
These modifications were based on the old regulation. The changes were expected to make important improvements in line with the principle of economic competitiveness.
The enacted Casino Law, in all matters regarding cruise vessels, kept only partially to the draft amendment. In contrast with the set of rules proposed in the draft, the law now in force provides that:
The original draft of the amendment to the law intended to increase the economic competitiveness for both foreign and Chilean vessels. However, this particular goal has not been fully achieved. Instead, the new Casino Law creates special benefits for foreign vessels wishing to operate casinos on board, creating incentives for such vessels to include Chilean ports on their schedules, while Chilean vessels must continue to abide by the same challenging regulation.
If the government's purpose is to increase economic competitiveness significantly in the cruise vessels market, it is feared that this may simply be the first of many reforms to come, all aimed at reducing costs incurred by owners of cruise vessels calling at Chilean ports.
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