iGaming: Buenos Aires Approves Online Gambling

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Article by : Helen Oct 12, 2020

To improve accessibility and create a more diverse gambling industry, Argentine lawmakers have passed legislation authorizing online gaming in the capital city of Buenos Aires. The initiative, submitted by the Bueno Aires City Lottery (LOTBA), grants local companies access to the virtual sector, something which was not permitted under legislation approved in 2018.

Even though half of the lawmakers abstained from voting, the Buenos Aires Legislature passed with 27 votes in favor and 26 abstentions.

Per the Technical Regulations of Online Game in the Province of Buenos Aires, operators of brick-and-mortar gambling businesses, including casinos, bingo halls, and slot venues will now be ready to export their products online or launch an iGaming extension of their business.

Unlike the U.S., the U.K., and other European countries that charge a flat fee for gambling licenses, Buenos Aires is taking a singular route. As monitored and controlled by the Ministry of Finance, the city will issue a five-year gaming license. Online casino operators won’t pay any fees but will contribute a percentage of the bets, between 10 percent and 20 percent of every bet, and 6 percent of the gross profits.

The overall amount is a heavy entry-cost into the online gaming world. Yet, it is a bill many of Buenos Aires’ current land-based operators are excited to foot to launch the virtual leg of their operations.

There is no doubt that online gambling will have positive effects on the state’s revenue. Buenos Aires expects to see between a $6.6 million and a $9.2 million increase in revenue, largely due to the iGaming approval. Claudia Neira, a representative of the Frente de Todos party, argued that the shift to online gaming will bring revenue to the city and help solve problems within the public sector.

It is logical to want to regulate online gaming as it exists and is installed in the world. It is also important that gambling is controlled. When we talk about gambling, we are talking about health, so we have to face it from that side. This is a great source of income for the city but we know very well that it is an activity that brings many problems to the locals.

Claudia Neira, representative of the Frente de Todos party.

Under the existing legislation’s rework, the Bueno Aires legislature included protective provisions to ensure responsible gaming, prevent organized crime, and promote transparency between businesses and customers.

In the Basic Regulations of Games and Betting put forth by LOTBA, ATMs, money vending machines, and pawnshops must be located within 200 meters of gambling halls. Online operators must also provide customers with accurate and complete information regarding the types of games, rules, probability of obtaining a prize, and other information associated with the gameplay. As well as “Having a gambling profile that allows the better to access his gambling history and behavior easily and online.”

The guideline continues, “The operator must provide clear information that allows him to make decisions about his behavior.” Lawmakers also passed the first Gambling Addiction Prevention Act in the city to help regulate gambling behavior.

Furthermore, the legislature also provides for non-granting of licenses to those that have faced judicial prosecution in the past. According to the law, only those who do not have any black marks on their record will be allowed to hold a license, and they will have to commit to making it easy for users to track their gambling activities and payment histories online.

At the benefit of patrons and casino operators, online gaming is expected to roll out at the end of the year.


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