July 2, 2024 2 min read

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Buenos Aires Suspends Issuing Online Casino Licenses

The proactive decision comes at a time when concerns about underage gambling continue to grow

The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, announced it has decided to stop issuing online casino licenses amid mounting concern about underage gambling.

The City of Buenos Aires launched its iGaming market back in 2020. At the time, the gambling regulator, LOTBA, permitted the expansion of online gambling activities across the city, paving the way for the creation of a robust and competitive market. Since then, 11 gambling operators secured licenses and offer their services in the autonomous city.

However, the latest decision to close the accepting of license applications for online casinos came amid a surge in underage gambling. The move was announced last week by LOTBA’s president, Jesús Acevedo together with the head of the city government, Jorge Macri, and other city officials.

To better protect minors under the age of 18, the officials confirmed that the gambling regulator in the city will complete an assessment for the compliance of the licensed operators with the existing requirements related to preventing underage individuals from accessing gambling activities.

The operators will also undergo monitoring for their compliance with spending limits, time limits and the use of responsible gambling tools, including self-exclusion.

Combatting illegal gambling, the local government has also established agreements with social media and e-commerce companies to “eliminate content and/or block profiles or users that promote illegal gambling, with the main focus on those intended for or aimed at minors.”

Those efforts saw some 715 social media profiles and advertisements removed from Facebook and Instagram so far in 2024. Additionally, the lawmakers requested the block for 12 websites and the prohibition of access to 9 publications. Per LOTBA, all cases were related to the promotion of illegal gambling.

The City Dedicates Resources to Protecting Minors from Gambling

The city’s gambling regulator reiterated that the only authorized gambling websites in Buenos Aires offer .bet domains. LOTBA reiterated that anyone under the age of 18 cannot access online gambling websites and engage in such activities.

Further efforts toward the protection of minors under the age of 18 include school workshops. Besides reaching adolescents, the workshops provide vital information to their parents and families.

The City of Buenos Aires also seeks to protect underage individuals by blocking access to both legal and illegal gambling websites via public school WIFI networks. A plan is in place to extend the aforementioned block to cover all public free WIFI networks across the autonomous city.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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