Buenos Aires Governor signs off on new igaming laws

1 April 2019

Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal has signed a regulatory decree to make online gambling legal in Argentina’s capital province for the first time.

Passed by the provincial government in December last year, Decree 181 has now been published in Boletín Oficial, Argentina’s government gazette, setting out regulations for online casino games including slots, sports betting, poker and betting on horse racing.

The Buenos Aires government will be able to award up to seven igaming licences under the new regime, but these will be limited to one per operator. The Buenos Aires Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos will oversee regulation of the new market.

In order to secure a licence in Buenos Aires, operators will need to meet a list of 20 requirements, with an appointed committee to pass judgment on all permit applications. Criteria include industry experience, financial capacity and data security.

Operators that are awarded a licence will be subject to a tax of 25% on revenue generated from gambling activities in the province. This is higher than the 15% set out under the original legislation published last year.

Licensees will also be subject to advertising measures whereby the regulator will monitor all outgoing marketing materials to ensure that it is carried out in good practice. Gambling will be limited to players over the age of 18 and ads should reflect this by not targeting minors in any way.

Operators must also ensure they have a responsible gambling strategy in place, including integrating their systems with a new self-exclusion scheme and having a facility in place to enable players to register formal complaints.

Those that do not comply with such requirements could face financial penalties and, if they continue to breach regulations or commit a particularly serious offence, could face having their licence revoked.

It is hoped that the introduction of the new laws in Buenos Aires will encourage other provinces across Argentina to also adopt gambling regulation.

Image: Deensel