BA regulators approve online licensing criteria

Outlining plans to launch its online gambling market in Q4 2020, legislators in Buenos Aires have given the green light for new regulations which would set the criteria for online gambling licensees.

BA city gambling regulator, the Loteria de la Ciudad (LOTBA), has suggested that sports betting, slots, lottery and casino table games could be made available across the city via a number of ‘online gaming agencies’.

As it stands, nine international operators have formed local partnerships with BA gambling entities, and are awaiting approval from the regulator.

Under the criteria, licensees will pay a USD$30,000 licence processing fee in addition to a fixed annual licence fee of USD$100,000. It has also not yet been confirmed whether licensees will be subject to further regulations in terms of marketing.

Last year, the Argentine Provinces Board for Lotteries and Casinos (IPLyC) revealed that ‘national public or private enterprises’ must show ‘demonstrable experience’ in running gambling businesses and maintain ‘qualifying earnings’ of ARG $250 million ($5 million) corresponding to 2018 trading.

Foreign operators will also be allowed to apply for BA licences, but are required to maintain a ‘physical business presence’ within the province, with the IPLyC demanding that international incumbents ‘operate at least one international online gaming license’.

To qualify for tender submission, international operators must also maintain a ‘demonstrable net worth’ of US $100 million as of 31 December 2018.

Despite its legislative ambitions, IPLyC governance failed to publish its BA licensing schedule in 2019, as Argentine politics was interrupted by a series of government changes following October’s general elections.

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