Buenos Tiempos Rodar: Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province Gives out 7 Online Casino Licences
The province of Buenos Aires in Argentina has completed its tenure process for licenses to operate in its upcoming legal market.
The regulator there, the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos or IPLyC, confirmed on Monday, January 4th that it had certified seven operators to run online casino services in the province.
Seventeen companies applied for a license, as we reported two months ago. Seeing as only seven got the nod, we can imagine the vetting process was quite strict.
Each international operator – mostly European companies –will partner with a local gambling firm to run its service. Twenty-five percent of all capital and profits in the venture must be attributed to the local partner, according to Argentinian media outlets.
The seven newly-licensed operators and their Argentinian partners are:
- William Hill and ArgenBingoBA
- Bet365 (under the name Hillside Media Malta) and Pasteko SA
- Playtech and Hotel Casino Tandil-Dynamo Tyche
- Boldt SA and 888 Holding’s Cassava Enterprises Gibraltar
- Atlantica de Juegos and Flutter PLC’s Stars brand
- Intralot SA and BinBaires SA
- Betsson Group and Casino de Victoria
There are some very well-known names here, including two of the world’s biggest gambling companies, Flutter and William Hill (soon to be merged with Caesars).
The Greek lottery provider Intralot was also in our pages last month after ending 2020 with financial problems, so this announcement should be a boost for the company.
However, not everyone in the city’s legislature is happy for the market to open so soon.
Nine state representatives of the Coalición Cívica ARIb party sent a formal public access request to see the tenure documents.
They object to the involvement of specifically two individuals – Cristobal Lopez and Daniel Angelici. Both are, or have been, under investigation by Argentinian and international police in the past.
Lopez spent time behind bars only a few years ago on fraud charges.
He is currently invested in the firm Binbaires SA, while former Oil executive Mr. Angelici is involved with Atlantica de Juegos, according to a statement from Coalición Cívica.
“We ask regulators to indicate how it was proven that each of these licensees complied with the established prohibitions”Coalición Cívica
Considering one of the named individuals is a convicted felon, it’s not hard to see the point.
The $650,000 each international operator has already had to put down to receive their license may prove to be a stumbling block.
However, governor Axel Kiciloff has publicly declared his dislike for some terms of the new market that were agreed upon by the previous provincial governor, María Eugenia Vidal, last year.
Whatever happens, all parties involved may be happy to be exempt from the wider changes to Argentinian gambling laws, which recently added a 150% tax hike into the mix.
Many countries around the world have upped regulation and taxes since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It’s good to see some new markets opening up.
The few new legal markets planned for around the globe in 2020 have also seen delays until this year, including Buenos Aires’ own online lottery service.
LOTBA received a license to run online services in September 2020, four months before the online casinos. However, it is not expected to launch until summer at the earliest.
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