1 April 2019

Buenos Aires Regulates Online Gambling

(Buenos Aires).- The re-organization of the online gambling market of Buenos Aires can finally begin after a recently approved decree was published Friday in Boletín Oficial, the Official Gazette of Argentina

After several years of heated discussions, the Argentinian province of Buenos Aires finally approved Decree 181 last December. The piece of legislation contains provisions for the regulation of the provision of a wide range of online gambling services on the territory of the province.

With its publication in the nation’s Official Gazette, Decree 181 took force on Friday to make Buenos Aires the first province to legalize online gaming and betting services. The legalization and introduction of rules concerning the practice falls under the purview of the provincial governments. The regulation of online gambling in Buenos Aires is hoped to pave the way for the introduction of regulated betting and gaming services in other provinces, too.

The Buenos Aires Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos is tasked with overseeing the province’s newly regulated industry. It will also be the body to grant licenses to interested operators. Under Decree 181, up to seven online gambling licenses will be issued and a single operator will be allowed to hold only one license.

Approved gambling operators will have to pay a 25% tax on their revenue from the province.

The newly approved piece of legislation authorizes the provision of online slots and other casino games, lotteries, betting on virtual sports, betting on horse races, as well as sports betting and betting on non-sporting events as long as they are not of political nature.

Local gambling experts have pointed out that with the range of gambling products now legal in Buenos Aires, the province has one of the most comprehensive gambling laws in Latin America.

Upon introducing Decree 181, provincial lawmakers have pointed out that the regulation of online gambling has been prompted by the need for illegal gambling to be eradicated as well as gambling fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes to be prevented. The local government has also said that with the new regulatory regime, it aims to ensure that public order is maintained by assuming full regulatory control over the gambling activities conducted on the territory of the province.

Online gambling has been a thriving industry in Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina for quite some time. However, the lack of regulations has seen offshore operators target local gamblers without paying local taxes or having any other obligations towards local authorities for targeting Argentinian gambling customers.