Buenos Aires passes igaming legislation

7 December 2018

Argentina’s capital province of Buenos Aires has passed legislation to regulate online gaming for the first time.

The measures were passed as part of the province’s 2019 budget, and allow Buenos Aires to develop regulations for online casino games including slots, sports betting, poker and betting on horse racing.

A tax rate of 15% of gross gaming revenue has been approved, with licences available to operators provided they establish a physical presence within the province.

A further 2% is to be given to the province’s regulatory body, the Instituto Provincial de Lotería y Casinos, which will be responsible for overseeing the sector, as an administrative fee.

Licences will be valid for a period of up to 15 years, and while the directive does not set out the number of licences that will be issued, Argentinean media has suggested that around seven will be available.

Operators will also be subject to a range of social responsibility controls, requiring them to offer players safeguards such as deposit and time limits, as well as offering the option to self-exclude. Failure to comply with these controls, and any other infractions, can see companies issued with warnings, fines, or have their licence suspended or revoked.

Revenue raised through taxation of the sector is to be used to fund social programmes in Buenos Aires, which will be complemented by a new 2% tax on player winnings from slot machines.

The budget will come into force from January 1, 2019, though there has been no indication as to when the province will begin the licensing process.