Like its counterparts in South America, horse racing is a popular sport in Chile. Santiago, the country’s capital, is home to two major racing tracks, including the Club Hípico de Santiago, which has been hosting the oldest stakes race in South America, the Clásico El Ensayo.
Chile hosts several horse races throughout the year. The Club Hípico de Santiago alone holds 18 races every Friday, Monday, and some Sundays as well.
With such a huge number of races held annually, it is no wonder that a significant amount of money is wagered on these events. If you want to be a part of the betting action in horse racing in Chile, here is a brief guide to lead you in the right direction.
Major horse races in Chile
The prominent horse racing venues of Chile include the Club Hípico de Santiago (The Equestrian Club of Santiago) and Hipodromo Chile (Chile Racetrack) in Santiago, and the Valparaiso Sporting Club in Vina del Mar, Valparaiso.
The Valparaiso Sporting Club is home to the Chilean Derby, which has been taking place since 1885. Like the other two racecourses, the Hipodromo Chile also hosts around 18 to 20 races every race day. Some major races on this racecourse include Gran Premio Hipodromo Chile in May, Mil Guineas in September, Independencia in October, and Haras de Chile in December, among others.
Betting on horse racing in Chile
For the longest time, gambling in Chile was highly restricted. The country has been an independent state since the early 1800s but was under the strict dictatorship of General Pinochet from 1973 until 1990, whereby all forms of gambling were strictly restrictive.
Before the 1990s, betting was permitted on racetracks and was done as pari-mutuel bets. This form of betting implies that a betting pool is created, and individuals betting on the participants finishing in the first three places get to share the total amount among them, while a certain percentage goes to the management.
However, a major shift occurred after the regime change. As the country embraced democracy in its true form, efforts were made to make Chile a stable economy. There was a major focus on building the tourism industry, and as a part of this change, all forms of betting, including sports betting, were legalised by the early 2000s.
In the early 2000s, there was still a heavy ban on online gambling. However, no special efforts were made to prevent offshore bettors from offering service to the locals, and the citizens were not stopped from using these sites. As the trend of smartphone and internet usage increased, so did the popularity of online sites.
In 2015, online betting was allowed on the Hipódromo Chile and Club Hípico de Santiago. Individuals were required to register with Teletrak.cl to place their wagers. It is a platform specifically designed for horse racing. Once the individuals have registered and provided a debit or credit card number, they can use the service. Tele Trak network offers live broadcasts on horse racing in the betting markets across the country.
In addition to the Tele Trak system, a phone betting system is also in place, through which individuals can place their wagers. It is called the FonoTrak.
Presently, Chileans enjoy a wide range of online betting options as the gambling industry has grown manifold in the past years and has become the fastest growing in all of South America. You can place bets on many sites, including Bet Winner, UniBet, Pinnacle, Bet2U, Bet.com, My Bookie and BetOnline, etc.
What is the Clásico El Ensayo, and when is it held?
Clásico El Ensayo or The Classic Essay is the oldest Group 1 horserace in South America. It is held in October or early November at the Club Hípico de Santiago. The race runs over a distance of 2400m on grass turf and is reserved for three-year-old male and female runners.
Is there any tax on sports betting winnings in Chile?
All winnings from sports betting are tax-free in Chile.
What payment options can I use to avoid losses due to currency conversion?
You can use e-wallets like Skrill or NETeller. These payment mechanisms will exchange your funds, hold them in any currency you like, and deposit or withdraw from the sites for a low charge. So, you only need to make one deposit at a time. This helps reduce the number of times you have to convert your funds into another currency.