Buenos Aires Gears Up for Regulated Online Gambling Launch
Regulated online gambling in the Argentinian province of Buenos Aires is nearly a done deal after the local gambling regulator, Instituto Provincial Lotería y Casinos (IPLyC), has disclosed the seven preferred bidders for iGaming and digital betting licenses.
The names of the seven partnerships that will be allowed to provide online gambling services on the territory of the province were revealed in the Buenos Aires executive gazette on December 31.
The province’s digital gambling legalization process kicked off in late 2018 when Buenos Aires lawmakers approved Decree 181. The measure called for the introduction of rules and regulations enabling interested companies to apply for and obtain licenses from IPLyC and operate in a regulated environment.
After gaining quite some momentum throughout the better part of 2019, plans for the legalization of online gambling in Argentina’s largest and most populous province were put on hold in August 2019 due to major turbulences and changes in Buenos Aires’ political scene.
Important progress was finally made late last year when IPLyC disclosed the names of the approved candidates for iGaming and digital wagering licenses.
Under Decree 181, IPLyC can issue up to seven online gambling licenses. The regulator is also tasked with ensuring that license holders and their operations are taxed at 5% on turnover.
The Approved License Applicants
IPLyC said late last year that it had received 14 license applications from partnerships formed between local gaming operators and international gambling companies. The seven approved ventures were ArgenBingo BA and William Hill, which recently bought a Colombian company to expand in that market, too, Pasteko SA and bet365, Hotel Casino Tandil and Playtech, Boldt SA and 888, Atlántica de Juegos and Flutter, Binbaires SA and Intralot, and Casino de Victoria and Betsson.
Notable candidates that did not receive regulatory approval to operate in the province included Spanish operators Luckia and Codere and LatAm betting operator BetCris.
IPLyC will aim to open its online gambling market ahead of the regulation of digital gaming and betting in the city of Buenos Aires. The gambling regulator informed the approved ventures that they would have 10 days from December 31 to present “compliance guarantees” in order to be issued licenses.
The companies will also be required to pay ARS65 million (approx. $773,000) in order to be allowed to conduct online gambling services on the territory of the province.
While IPLyC is working to finalize the licensing process, local news outlets reported that the Buenos Aires Governor, Axel Kicillof, could hamper the launch of the province’s regulated market. Gov. Kicillof’s administration is reportedly dissatisfied with the province’s recently drafted gambling laws and “welfare fund” commitments made by his predecessor, María Eugenia Vidal.
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