Buenos Aires Legalises Online Gambling

The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is set to launch its online gambling sector by Q4 2020. This week, the gambling regulator Loteria de la Ciudad (LOTBA) made public its plans to start accepting applications from those wishing to offer online sports betting or online casino services in or from the city.

The LOTBA is planning to give authorisation to an unlimited number of online gambling and gaming providers that will be able to offer online casinos, sports betting, virtual betting, non-sports betting, slots, blackjack, roulette, poker and lottery games.

Those companies that are interested in being certified by the LOTBA need to undertake an application process that includes paying a fee. They must also prove that they have been operating in the sector for at least two years, have annual revenue of $1.6 million and have a net worth of no less than $2.5 million. This immediately excludes any startups from operating within Buenos Aires, leaving only established and successful entities to apply.

Once a license has been acquired it will be valid for a period of five years and can be extended for another five years. Each entity would have to pay an annual license fee of $100k and 10% tax on all revenue. This again means that only large-scale operators would have any interest or benefit in applying.

Applicants must also submit a Guarantee of Compliance for the sum of $2 million, a number that will be reduced to $1 million following the accreditation of the technical certification report.

This latest development has been in the works for almost two years after the original plans were drawn up in 2018 and online gambling in the province of Buenos Aires was legalised. Since then, a couple of political hurdles stalled progress but now it seems that LOBTA are keen to get the ball rolling.

The Argentinian authorities are confident that gambling operators will flock to offer their services in the city as Buenos Aires is a tourist hotspot with 2.8 million inhabitants and as many as 3 million visitors each year.

To date, Columbia is the only country in South America with a fully-regulated online gaming market. The country’s first license was issued in June 20178. The market as a whole was worth $2 billion in 2019 and with some 422 million people on the continent, there is a lot of market to be developed.

One of the other main alternatives for online gambling licenses in the region is in Costa Rica. The authorities have a very open approach to the iGaming industry and companies wishing to operate online gambling services from the country, don’t actually need a license. Instead, you need a Costa Rica Online Gambling Company and a few other things and you are good to go. While Buenos Aires may be a good solution for well-established operators, Costa Rica is great for startups and those looking to find their feet.

For more information about online gambling in Buenos Aires, Costa Rica or any other jurisdiction, contact Fast Offshore today. We have been working in the industry since online gambling started and we have a wealth of experience, knowledge and contacts that can help you take a step in the right direction.