Critical Information on Argentina’s Complex Regulatory Framework

The online gaming and betting industry is booming in Argentina with an estimated $2.4 billion in annual revenues. To boost economic recovery after the crisis of 2020, the government has increased the federal tax on online gambling from 2% to 5%. It’s important to note that this tax is in addition to provincial and municipal taxes, such as a 25% tax on operators’ gross gaming revenue imposed by the province of Buenos Aires and a 10% tax on GGR enforced by the city of Buenos Aires.

Moreover, advertising regulations are in place to protect minors and prevent misleading or dishonest marketing tactics. Only authorised operators are permitted to promote their services in the country.

Gambling is widely accepted in Argentine society, with various land-based options such as casinos, horse racing tracks, betting shops, and amusement arcades authorized to operate depending on the jurisdiction. However, online gambling has faced limitations in heavily populated areas and has resulted in prosecution and website-blocking measures. For example, certain Misiones-licensed sites targeting players beyond the province’s borders were targeted by authorities in Buenos Aires.

The online gambling industry in Argentina faced obstacles due to lack of uniformity until 2018, when the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires established regulations and entered into a cooperative agreement. Today, online gaming is legal in numerous regions of the country, with licenses awarded through competitive bidding. However, the legislation is varied and can be intricate for both operators and players to navigate. It’s important to note that online gambling is prohibited unless expressly permitted by local jurisdictions, with 24 authorities overseeing regulation.

All regulators are listed below: 

• Lotería de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires SE (City of Buenos Aires);
• Instituto Provincial de Lotería y Casinos de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Province of Buenos Aires);
• Caja de Prestaciones Sociales de la Provincia de Catamarca (Province of Catamarca);
• Lotería Chaqueña (Province of Chaco);
• Instituto de Asistencia Social de Chubut (Province of Chubut);
• Lotería de la Provincia de Córdoba SE (Province of Córdoba);
• Instituto de Lotería y Casinos de Corrientes (Province of Corrientes);
• Instituto de Ayuda Financiera a la Acción Social (Province of Entre Ríos);
• Instituto de Asistencia Social (Province of Formosa);
• Instituto Provincial de Juegos de Azar de Jujuy (Province of Jujuy);
• Instituto de Seguridad Social de La Pampa (Province of La Pampa);
• Administración General de Juegos de Azar de La Rioja (Province of La Rioja);
• Instituto Provincial de Juegos y Casinos de la Provincia de Mendoza (Province of Mendoza);
• Instituto Provincial de Loterías y Casinos de la Provincia de Misiones SE (Province of Misiones);
• Instituto Provincial de Juegos de Azar de Neuquén (Province of Neuquén);
• Lotería para Obras de Acción Social de la Provincia de Rio Negro (Province of Río Negro);
• Ente Regulador del Juego de Azar de la Provincia de Salta (Province of Salta);
• Caja de Acción Social de San Juan (Province of San Juan);
• Caja Social y Financiera de la Provincia de San Luis (Province of San Luis);
• Lotería para Obras de Acción Social de la Provincia de Santa Cruz (Province of Santa Cruz);
• Caja de Asistencia Social de la Provincia de Santa Fe (Province of Santa Fe);
• Caja Social de Santiago del Estero (Province of Santiago del Estero);
• Instituto Provincial de Regulación de Apuestas de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur (Province of Tierra del Fuego)
• Caja Popular de Ahorros de la Provincia de Tucumán (Province of Tucumán).

As members of the Association of Argentine State Lotteries (ALEA), all state lotteries are part of the World Lottery. However, it’s important to note that even though ALEA governs all individual lotteries in the country, it lacks the regulatory and enforcement authority when it comes to gambling and gaming.

Buenos Aires, a bustling city of over 3 million people, stands as the autonomous capital of Argentina. With its own government, jurisdiction, and political structure, this coastal metropolis has a unique identity entirely its own. Governed by a dedicated mayor and legislative assembly, Buenos Aires sets the standard for city-states around the world.

In recent news, the city has passed a groundbreaking law regulating online gambling activities, including casinos, poker games, and lotteries. With no set limit on licenses available, the Buenos Aires lottery authority will take on the role of regulator in this exciting new industry. Stay tuned for further updates on this exciting development in the thriving city of Buenos Aires.

The lottery authority has finalized legislation for prospective operators in Buenos Aires to engage in online gambling. In order to qualify, operators are required to have a minimum of two years experience in operating an online business, as well as a corporate value of at least US$25m. Licensees pay an annual fee of US$100,000, a 10 percent tax on revenue, as well as a US$30,000 application fee. Applications were initially restricted to non-land-based operators, but after a lawsuit was filed by the local operators of Buenos Aires’ land-based casinos, the licensing regime was changed to include them as well. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary permissions were granted to the Hipodromo de Palermo Racino and Casino Buenos Aires riverboat casino to launch online casinos under a special lottery authorization. As of January 2021, there were 15 applications for online licenses, with Codere claiming to be in the running for a permit after its platform implementation program was approved by the Lotería de la Ciudad (LOTBA) at the end of 2020.

The province has recently passed a legislation in December 2018 that legalizes online casinos and sports betting. Operators are required to pay a total of 25% tax on revenue, comprised of three separate taxes, 8%, 15%, and a fixed levy of up to 2%.

The Provincial Institute for Lotteries and Casinos (IPLyC) is the sole authority responsible for issuing licenses, granting seven online gambling licenses. International operators are only permitted to apply for licenses through domestic partnerships. In January 2021, the license holders were announced, based on applications submitted by eligible operators:

• Flutter Entertainment

• Bet365

• Playtech

• 888

• Intralot

• William Hill

• Betsson

It is of paramount importance to regulate online gambling in the capital city and nearby provinces, as these areas comprise nearly half of Argentina’s population.

The Córdoba Province, home to 3.5 million residents and ranked as Argentina’s second most populous region, recently enacted a new law to regulate online gambling activities which include casino games, lottery games, and sports betting. The legislation follows the Buenos Aries model that involves a competitive tendering process to allocate a maximum of ten licenses. The Córdoba Province Lottery is the designated authoritative entity overseeing the regulation process. This move marks a significant stride in controlling online gambling in the province, ultimately leading to a safer and more secure industry environment.

The third-largest province in Argentina responded to the financial impacts of Covid lockdowns by introducing a decree in September 2020. The decree authorized their closed land-based casinos to offer online casino games, and City Center Rosario was the first to embrace this new opportunity just two months later.

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