Argentina: Buenos Aires to debate online gaming

Legislators will debate online gaming regulation on Thursday.
Legislators will debate online gaming regulation on Thursday.

The Buenos Aires city legislature will debate a law that seeks to permit online gambling while preventing gambling addiction.

Argentina.- The Buenos Aires city legislature will on Thursday (September 24) address a proposed law on the prevention of gambling addiction and the regulation of online gaming.

Legislators will debate a bill that aims to give the green light to online gaming amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but at the same time avoid increases in gambling addiction.

The bill was proposed by the Lottery of the City of Buenos Aires (LOTBA), which hopes to give an answer to companies that remain inactive since mandatory social isolation was imposed in Argentina on March 20.

Casino Buenos Aires and the Palermo racecourse are expected to be included in the approval of online gaming.

Currently, the law permits LOTBA to prevent holders of land-based licences from operating online gaming. This would change under the new proposals.

They also add the concept of “clean record”, which would create a list of people unable to get a permit. This would include “people with a final prosecution or trial for crimes such as human trafficking, extremism, trafficking of drugs, persons or weapons, money laundering, or crimes included in the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, or crimes in which the passive victim is the public administration.”

The law also proposes measures on the prevention of gambling addiction, including the regulation of “responsible” gambling advertising, which should not appear on platforms aimed at minors, and the creation of a self-exclusion register for the city of Buenos Aires.

Operators will be obliged to verify the identity and age of players, and must install clocks to show players how long they have been playing. Adverts in gaming halls and on betting sites must warn of the harm gambling can cause.

The city of Buenos Aires has already approved a law for online gaming, but it was never regulated and therefore never came into force. Now close to two years into the debate, legislators will analyse a new way of regulating the industry.