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Argentinian Province of Buenos Aires Regulates Online Gambling
- April 3, 2019 By Oliver Young -
Argentina has been considering regulating online gambling for years. Last December, after a long debate over the language used in the bill, the Argentinian province of Buenos Aires approved Decree 181 of the Budget Law. There were still things that needed to be done so that online gambling could make its way into Buenos Aires.
One of the main things that needed to be done was to have the decree published in the Argentinian official newspaper, Boletin Oficial. After they finally handled that, now, Buenos Aires is the first Argentinian province which has regulated online gambling.
Online Gambling in Buenos Aires
The Argentinian law says that it is up to individual provinces whether they want to legalize and regulate online gambling and betting or not. The province of Buenos Aires was the first of the Argentinian provinces to lift the lid on regulating online gambling, the first to get the ball rolling. After the recent news, many other provinces in the country may follow suit and present their own legislation to regulate online gambling and spread the gambling and betting activities online.
The approved Decree 181 states that the online gambling and betting activities will be overseen by the Buenos Aires Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos, which will be in charge of licensing operators. Decree 181 initially authorizes seven online licenses. One single operator can only apply and be issued one license.
In order to apply for a license and secure themselves one, operators must meet the requirements. There are 20 specific requisites they must meet, and if everything goes well, the applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Buenos Aires Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos. The applicants will be judged based on data security, industry experience, financial liquidity and several other criteria. Applicants need to present a strict marketing plan that would convince the committee that no minors younger than 18 will be targeted and need to create a strategy for responsible gambling that also includes self-exclusion options. International operators will also be allowed to apply for a license, as long as they have a physical business presence in Buenos Aires.
Now the best part: the games these operators are allowed to offer. The Decree 181 authorizes horseracing betting, virtual sports betting, sportsbooks, online slots and other online casino games, poker included. Betting on non-sports events is also allowed, as long as these events have nothing to do with politics.
The Tax Increase and Other Issues
Buenos Aires’ Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal has approved the regulatory decree and signed it, making sure online gambling is legal and regulated in the province. However, she has introduced new tax increases to the previously requested ones.
The operators will need to pay a 25% tax rate on revenue, which is 10% more than it was initially proposed. To the previously approved 15% on revenues, further 8% was added on individual product verticals, as well as a 2% levy that goes for the licensing costs and provisions.
As Governor Vidal says, the majority of these taxes for online gambling will be used to fund the Buenos Aires’ FIDES – Social Development and Integration Fund.
But this doesn’t mean that the war is over; there are still those who refuse to approve Buenos Aires’ online gambling framework, more precisely the last part. The governances of Argentine FA and the Superliga last month demanded that President Mauricio Macri suspend the motion. The two governing bodies of football in Argentina insist that they will move forward with an injunction on the Decree 181 of the 2019 Budget Law unless Vidal redrafts the online gambling mandate to add rewards for football clubs and sponsor the clubs with the money that comes from gambling taxes.
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