Buenos Aires Launches Gambling Code

Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires at night

Argentina is set to launch its first attempt to regulate online gambling, with the approval of a new gambling code for the province of Buenos Aires.

Last December, districts in the province gave their approval to Decree 181, part of the 2019 Budget Law, which allowed for the granting of seven online licences for gambling operators, covering sports betting, poker, horse racing and online casino. And now the executive of the Buenos Aires government has given its official seal of approval to the new code.

The gambling regulations will be implemented and overseen by the Instituto Provincial de Loteria y Casinos (IPLyC) and Buenos Aires is set to begin the licensing procedures covering the seven initial online licenses shortly. According to reports in the Argentine media, the IPLyC has laid down a stringent set of criteria for potential licensees, including full disclosure on their financial liquidity, and guarantees on data security. Overseas operators will be permitted to apply for a license, but they will be required to set up a physical presence within Buenos Aires.

Before final approval, the Buenos Aires executive introduced a number of additions to the rules, including a new set of tax rules. The original 15 percent tax for online gambling revenue will be supplemented by an additional 8 percent tax on individual betting products, along with a 2 percent levy to cover costs and licensing administration. Most of the revenue taken through taxation will be diverted to find the Buenos Aires Social Development and Integration Fund, supported by the provincial Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal.

But the bill may still yet be blocked. Argentine football authorities have protested about the legalisation of online gambling, urging President Mauricio Macri to veto the regulations.

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