SBC News Buenos Aires to toughen City Compliance on under-age gambling

Buenos Aires to toughen City Compliance on under-age gambling

The executive of Buenos Aires has warned gambling licensees (retail and online) to prepare for tougher compliance measures imposed on their businesses.

The city’s legislature has confirmed that BA’s ‘Codigo Contravencional‘ – Code of Contraventions will be expanded to include new penalties for gambling infringements.

A proposal has been brought forward by the municipal deputies of Paola Michielotto and Sergio Siciliano to toughen the City’s gambling rules and to ensure that gambling is promoted and played by over-18s, online and in licensed venues.

The deputies’ proposal detailed concerns on the over-exposure of gambling adverts viewed by BA minors, citing a high coverage of adverts on online platforms and broadcast during football matches.

BA will expand its Code of Contraventions to avoid the “consequences of underage gambling, which extend beyond financial issues, impacting family and social problems, sedentary lifestyles, and mental health issues like depression and anxiety.”

An initial proposal has drafted four new articles to be applied to the Code related to specific fines imposed on BA-licensed gambling businesses.

The first article determines that gambling under the age of 18 is forbidden by any BA licensed business.

Measures to prohibit under-18s from engaging with gambling activities must be observed by all businesses in BA’s city district, regardless of whether they are directly licensed to provide gambling services.

Businesses that infringe on the above article will be penalised with fines of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 remuneration units.

The proposal has drafted new technical measures on payment service providers (PSPs) who will be required to conduct ‘adult authorisations’ to authorise payments by minors within the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Failure to carry out the required checks will result in penalties ranging from 500,000 to 1,000,000 fixed units.

Banks and financial institutions will be prohibited from transferring any funds from under-18 accounts to gambling platforms.

New advertising requirements will ensure that all gambling adverts promoted in BA include a visible message on the harmful effects of gambling, alongside a mandatory +18 warning sign.

BA’s executive will propose further articles to implement a comprehensive legal framework that addresses the problem of childhood gambling, establishing preventive, regulatory, and intervention measures that safeguard the rights and well-being of children and adolescents.

The City’s legislature considers the upcoming changes to gambling regulations significant, particularly since the launch of its online gambling regime in 2021, which is overseen by Lotería de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (LOTBA).

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