Buenos Aires Moves Ahead With Gambling Liberalisation

Building of Congress and the fountain in Buenos Aires

The government of Buenos Aires (BA) in Argentina has initiated the next stage of its liberalisation of gambling in the region. Lawmakers will be asked to vote on the executive’s 2019 Budget plan which will include approval for online gambling in what is Argentina’s largest province.

The push for liberalisation is being led by the  BA Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, who is hoping to raise additional funds for the region’s new Social Development & Integration Fund.

The proposals were originally put forward last month but according to news sources in Argentina, the BA executive is now planning to put the key directives 142 and 143 to a vote. The directives would set up a new 2 percent tax on all player winnings earned through casino, bingo or arcade games, and would also create a regulatory framework to support online gambling, including casino slots gaming, sports betting, poker and horse racing betting.

According to media reports, Governor Vidal has asked members of her Argentina PRO party to build support for the proposals among the district leaders of BA. The proposals have already won support from the BA Mayor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, who said that BA executives could not afford to fail in the development of the Social Development fund.

Change Of Stance

Governor Vidal has made it clear that she believes the gambling liberalisation is the only way for the region to raise vital funds to cope with the crisis in the national economy.

But political opponents have charged Vidal and the Argentina PRO party with hypocrisy for having changed their stance on gambling. At the time of her appointment in 2015, Vidal said that she was opposed to gambling, having criticised the presence of arcades and bingo halls in poor areas. Vidal has also been accused of rushing the directives through without a full impact assessment.

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