Argentine players seek international tie-ups to secure BA-7 licenses

Argentine news reports of a ‘diverse cast’ of national and international operators vying to secure one of seven Buenos Aires province online gambling licenses.

On Monday, the Buenos Aires executive closed its ‘window of submissions’ for operators seeking to join BA’s regulated online gambling marketplace.

Argentina’s first legislative code for online gambling was approved last April, as BA districts sanctioned the ‘2019 Budget Law’ from Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal (pictured).

BA online gambling will be overseen by ‘IPLyC’, the Argentine Provinces Board for Lotteries and Casinos, with licensed operators allowed to service online sportsbook, casino, poker and horseracing provisions.

In its mandate, the BA executive allows for international operators to service the market. However, all foreign incumbents must maintain a ‘physical business presence’ within Buenos Aires province.

The prerequisite sees Argentine news source La Politica Online report of ‘new alliances’ being formed between established Argentine gambling operators with European suitors.

Despite booking Argentine market losses of €22 million during the course of 2018, Spanish gambling group Codere SA is reported to be committed to joining the BA online gambling scene by partnering with rumoured English and Israeli partners.

In addition, Spanish gambling magnet, Manuel Lao Hernández – former owner of Grupo CIRSA – is reported to have tied down Athens-listed Intralot SPA as his BA counterpart.

Lao Hernández, who sold Spanish operator CIRSA to US private equity fund Blackstone in 2018 for €2 billion, maintains a significant presence within Argentine gambling, having kept CIRSA’s ‘Casinos de Buenos Aires subsidiary as part of the Blackstone deal.

Most intriguing for South American observers, Daniel Angelici, President of Boca Juniors – Argentina’s most popular football club – is reported to have ‘approached PokerStars’ with regards to forming a digital partnership.

Boca Juniors President is reported to be seeking a gaming partner, despite  IPLyC and Governor Vidal reaffirming that BA’s new framework will not allow sports club to participate in gambling partnerships – a directive which Superliga Clubs and the Argentine FA (AFA) have stated will be challenged.

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