(Potentially) coming soon to Buenos Aires: online gambling

Buenos Aires Online Gambling

Last Friday, the City of Buenos Aires put forward a project which aims to amend current online gambling regulations.

The proposal has been presented to the Legislature of Buenos Aires, and would enable operators that already have land-based licenses to apply for online ones.

Changes to current regulation would occur before the end of the year, as long as the Argentine capital reactivates the online gambling licence-bidding process.

The aim is to help economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19, as well as curb a spike in illegal gambling activity.

“We need to regulate the market”

When the city’s government put forward these proposals, it said that “illegal gambling is five times worse than what it was at the beginning of the pandemic, so we need to regulate [the market]”.

A need to protect regulated casinos was also cited. Venues have been closed since in the middle of March and, at the time of writing, are still not allowed to welcome back customers.

Technicalities of the proposal 

The Puerto Madero casino and Hipódromo de Palermo casinos have both asked that they are authorised to take part in the bidding process for online licenses. This has also been the case for lottery companies in the country.

A “clean record” section would be added to proposals, prohibiting “people with criminal records or in trial for crimes such as human trafficking, terrorism or drug, human or gun trafficking, or laundering of assets or for crimes included in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption” from applying for licenses.

Online gambling in Argentina 

Online gambling in Argentina became legal in 2006. However,  each province currently determines their own individual laws and there is currently no nation-wide regulatory body.

Eight of the South American country’s 24 provinces currently offer some form of online gambling. Buenos Aires is not currently one of them, though a broad range of land-based offerings are permitted. Regulated operators in the capital can offer sports betting, casino gaming and lottery.