City of Buenos Aires sets out online licensing criteria

24 February 2020

The city of Buenos Aires has approved regulations to set criteria for online gambling licensees, with a view to launching in Q4 of 2020.

The Loteria de la Ciudad (LOTBA), which regulates gambling in the city of Buenos Aires, has proposed establishing a number of ‘online gaming agencies’,  which may offer sports betting, slots, lottery and various casino table games.

While there is no limit on the number of licences, operators must have total sales revenue over ARS$100m and have been in business for at least two years. Operators may not have been convicted of offering illegal gambling in Argentina and may not  be the owner of a retail betting agency or gambling halls in the City.

Licensees must pay a USD$30,000 licence processing fee and a fixed annual licence fee of USD$100,000 as well as a USD$2m “compliance guarantee” as a form of insurance. LOTBA will collect taxes of 10% of gaming revenue.

LOTBA also said that further regulations relating to marketing may be published in the future.

Last year, the province of Buenos Aires, which is legally distinct from the city, prepared to launch its own online gambling licences, with operators including Bet365, Betway and Codere LatAm throwing their hats into the ring.

However, political upheaval has thrown the launch of online gambling into doubt, as pro-gambling Buenos Aires governor Maria Eugenia Vidal lost her governorship to Axel Kicillof of the allied Justicialist and Frente de Todos parties.

Local media suggests that seven of the 17 applicants were set to be awarded a licence: ArgenBingo, in partnership with William Hill; Bingo Pilar and Paddy Power Betfair; Bet365 and Pasteko; Playtech with Hotel Casino Tandil; 888 and Boldt; Atlántica de Juegos and The Stars Group, and Intralot with BinBaires. However no official annoucnement has been made.