An article from the Clarín newspaper revealed progress between the regulator and the authorized operators

Argentina: Buenos Aires Province one step away from enabling online betting

Seven companies would start operating online gambling in the next 90 to 120 days.
2021-05-31
Argentina
Reading time 2:06 min
According to information published by the Clarín newspaper, Governor Axel Kicillof is very close to enabling online gambling in the Province of Buenos Aires, to raise an extra US$ 1 billion. The measure had originally been enforced under the government of María Eugenia Vidal in 2018, and seven companies were awarded licenses.

According to the story published by Clarín, the launch of online gambling in the province of Buenos Aires advanced in recent weeks, after the Kicillof government granted licenses to operate at the end of last year to seven companies that had participated in the award process, which the administration of María Eugenia Vidal began in 2018.

The provincial Lottery sent the corresponding "framework agreements" to the winning companies in the last couple of weeks, which once signed will give rise to the start of the gambling activity, starting 90 days after signing.

It is a very important revenue source for the province. Between the payments of the royalties to operate (10%) and the Gross Income-tax (15%) that the licensees must pay once they operate, the province would receive an estimated annual income of more than US$1 billion.

On December 31, 2020, Kicillof signed a decree which awarded licenses to seven companies to operate. In the tender, it was foreseen that the local companies would present themselves in groups, together with at least one international firm, which had to be able to provide 75% of the capital while the local firms had to provide the remaining 25%.

According to resolution 795/2020, it was resolved “to grant the License for the development of the gambling activity under the online modality to the licensees indicated below, for the reasons of fact and law formulated in the foregoing considerations:

1.- “Argenbingo S.A. - Will Hill Limited S.A. Argentine Branch (UT)

2.- “Hillside (New Media Malta) PLC – Pasteko S.A. (UT)”

3.- “Hotel Casino Tandil S.A. – Dynamo Tyche S.A. – Playtech Software Ltd. (UT)”

4.- “Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd. – Boldt S.A. (UT)”

5.- “Atlántica de Juegos S.A. – Stars Interactive Ltd. (UT)”

6.- “Binaires S.A. – Intralot International Ltd. (UT)”

7.- “Casino de Victoria S.A – Betsson Malta Holding Ltd, (UT)”

In addition, the holding company “Bingo Pilar S.A. - PPB Counterparty Services Ltd Argentine branch (UT) ” was excluded from the bidders register due to the fact that on May 22, 2020, the second of the companies declined its participation in the Transitional Union, which was part of the authorized lot and, based on scores, "Casino de Victoria SA - Betsson Malta Holding Limited" rose to position 7. 

Regarding the recently published news, although the Buenos Aires Province Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC), led by Omar Galdurralde, avoided making statements, the information released by Clarín points out that in recent weeks, the "framework" or "model", in which the obligations and rights between the parties are established, and a period of 90 days is foreseen to start operating, have been circulating.

Industry sources consider that it is a "necessary laundering of a business that moves millions of pesos illegally and does not pay a cent." And they highlight that it will be vital for the provincial coffers, especially in the context of the difficult economic situation that the pandemic has triggered. 

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