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Buenoes Aires Okays Online Casino Bill

Argentina is taking a first tentative step towards the introduction of online gambling with the province of Buenos Aires giving the go-ahead of a new piece of legislation intended to land a legal standing of the activity.

Buenos Aires Says Yes to Online Gambling

Online gambling is going legal in Buenos Aires, Argentina, thanks to a new piece of legislation, which has been introduced as part of the 2019 budget. As a result, online gambling in the country will begin, influencing a number of sectors, including sports betting, authentic online casinos, and even card rooms along with horse betting companies. The move has been championed by Governor María Eugenia Vidal.

Most new legislations introduce hefty taxes when they seek to legalize their gambling activities, but Argentina chose a distinctly lenient approach, with the tax hitting only 15% of the gross gaming revenue of companies. Naturally, all operators that want to set up their online facilities will have to be physically present in the province as well.

María Eugenia Vidal

Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal in public.

The tax money will go to public funding, with 2% being allocated to the Instituto Provincial de Lotería y Casinos, which is the official regulatory body to take care of the gambling activities in Buenos Aires. Another auspicious moment for would-be casinos and betting companies is that they would be able to purchase a license for as long as 15 years, which is significantly more than elsewhere in the world.

Bringing Social Responsibility to Argentina

It’s not all done for the sake of business either, with Governor Vidal championing both the social and business end of the activity. Argentina will pursue a number of social responsibility initiatives and request companies to uphold the necessary safety practices before any operator is allowed to operate on the burgeoning market.

With the budget coming into effect on January 1, 2019, there has been no mention as of the official date when Buenos Aires will begin issuing the licenses. Once the process has been set up on the legal end of things, companies will be allowed to purchase licenses.

It’s possible for Buenos Aires to issue package deals for companies, but a far more likely scenario is for each license to be individual, meaning companies will have to purchase permits to offer sports betting, online casinos and horse racing.

Buenos Aires has a population of 3 million people, which puts it on par with successful gambling hubs as Nevada with roughly the same number of residents. However, Nevada has the privilege to be one of the few places where you can play a number of casino games and frequent sports betting facilities whereas Buenos Aires may not have the same pull.

Is Cross-Border Gambling an Option?

An interesting question would be whether Argentina would restrict cross-border gambling. Will gamers from other states be allowed to place wagers on online casinos licenses in Buenos Aires? The most likely answer is no as this could lead to potential money laundering.

While Buenos Aires legalizes its iGaming and betting industries, though, other states may feel left behind with people there continuing to turn to offshore alternatives. The problem with those casinos is they are hardly safe and often risk compromising the identities and sensitive information of their customers.

Latin America is finally waking up to the benefits of legalizing betting and gambling, though. A most welcome move given the hundreds of thousands of potential gamers.

Simon Deloit

Simon is a freelance writer who specialises in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.