Coalición Cívica Concerned About Legality of Online Gambling Licenses

The political party Coalición Cívica ARI has submitted a formal request to the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC) of Buenos Aires for information about the selection process of online gambling licensees.

The Argentine political party from the opposition Coalición Cívica ARI is questioning the process of granting licenses to a few online gambling operators in Buenos Aires.

The political party has officially approached the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC) of Buenos Aires asking for details regarding the process through which the organization issued seven online gambling licenses.

On December 31, the authority granted operating permits to seven companies through Resolution No. 795-2020. The lawmakers, which include nine deputies and senators, are asking the IPLyC about the way it verified that the licensees do not fall under any of the prohibitions established in the law.

Coalición Cívica said it is imperative that the province guarantees that online gambling in Buenos Aires is not in the hands of people who have done a lot of damage to society.

The request presents concerns about the involvement of Cristóbal López, who is facing corruption charges, and Daniel Angelici, former Boca Juniors president. According to the legislators, different articles in the online gambling regulation prevent them from applying for and holding a license.

Coalición Cívica points out that both persons are connected to some of the new licensees – López is related to Binbaires SA, while Angelici to Atlántica de Juegos, associated with Intralot and Stars Interactive Limited, respectively.

Major Concerns: Investigation into Fraud and Ties to Organizers of Sports Betting Events

The gambling laws seek to ban people linked to crime or organized crime from being operators and prevent giving advantages to entities organizing or participating in sports betting events, the document also says.

The possible links between the gambling companies and the two businessmen would make certain licenses “illegal”, which is why the petition was presented to the provincial administration.

Angelici might be prohibited from receiving a license, since he has been an important manager of sports entities in Argentina and still maintains a strong position in the organization of one of the most popular sports events to place bets on.

Cristóbal López, on the other hand, is being investigated for a tax fraud by his company Oil Combustible. According to Argentina’s tax bureau AFIP, Oil Combustible was granted favorable and illegal repayment options by the former tax administration under President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

The licenses will have a duration of 15 years and were granted in return for a AR$65 million (US$770 million) fee and a 25% gross revenue tax.

Former Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal signed the igaming legislation into law in April 2019, after it was approved by the provincial government in December 2018.

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