International operators snap up partners in Buenos Aires

30 May 2019

A host of leading betting and gaming operators have struck partnerships with local operators in Buenos Aires as Argentina’s capital province moves towards the roll-out of online gambling.

With seven licences on offer, and a deadline of June 25 set for operators to submit final licence applications, companies have moved quickly to secure local partners.

The Stars Group has partnered Atlantica de Juegos, while William Hill will work with bingo hall operator ArgenBingo to secure a licence in the province. Flutter Entertainment, the operator formerly known as Paddy Power Betfair, will work with Bingo Pilar (another bingo hall operator), and Intralot has paired off with casino operator BinBaires.

Finally Playtech has partnered Hotel Casino Tandil. Two local operators, currently without local partners - Biyemas and Slot Machines SA - have also registered their intention to apply for licences.

The seven will bid for one of the state’s 15-year licences, which covers online casino games including slots, sports betting, poker and betting on horse racing.

The foreign applicants will be expected to maintain a presence in the province in order to be eligible for a licence, paying AR$5.5m (£97,980/€111,083/$123,767) to participate in the licensing process.

Foreign operators must also have a net worth of US$100m or higher, while local operators must have generated sales of AR$250m over the 2018 calendar year.

Successful applicants will then pay an AR$65m fee for their 15-year licence, as well as paying a 25% tax on gross gaming revenue.

The capital province passed legislation to regulate online gambling in December 2018, with Governor María Eugenia Vidal then signing a regulatory decree to bring the regulations into law in April this year. The market will be regulated by the Buenos Aires Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC).

Work on processing the applications will begin once the deadline of 11AM on June 25 passes.

The provincial regulatory regime is being launched alongside a separate igaming regulatory framework covering the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. Like the provincial laws, this was passed by lawmakers in December 2018.

After the city passed its legislation, its head of government Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Vidal signed an agreement to coordinate regulatory action across both jurisdictions.