ccording to an article published by local newspaper Perfil, The Province of Buenos Aires may go into the million-dollar online gambling business soon. The annual budget for next year, submitted on Monday to the Province legislature for its discussion and approval, includes a 15% tax on companies which offer online gambling services.
As revealed yesterday by Diario Perfil journalist Ramón Indart, projections by the Ministry of Economy show that with this rate, 2.2 million pesos —61,9 million dollars, would be raised by the needy province managed by Vidal.
As reported by local newspaper La Política Online, the idea to allow online gambling came from Matías Lanusse, Director of the Buenos Aires Province Institute of Lotteries and Casinos, who took it to María Eugenia Vidal, together with the numbers this business makes in other countries, in an attempt to give the governor an idea to tackle the economic crisis prior to the next electoral year.
Argentina: A provincial issue
In Argentina, each jurisdiction has its own laws as regards gambling, so for instance, in the Province of Buenos Aires, online gaming is not regulated yet. That is why the province’s Institute of Lotteries and Casinos seeks to encourage online gambling operators to headquarter in La Plata —Buenos Aires Province capital city, as they would have to pay taxes in this jurisdiction.
According to a government official, the first step is to get the provincial legislature's approval of the annual budget, only then the licensing process could move forward. The government plans to grant seven licenses which would include the right to operate sports betting, racetracks wagers, virtual casinos, and live events.
One of the controversies over these news is that the Argentine Football Association (AFA in Spanish) which has historically taken 100% of the sports betting market of the country pursuant to Law Ley del Prode will not be able to claim for these type of wagers. This is because the market opened as a consequence of the Ley del Prode being repealed.
Slot machine taxes, the other provincial issue
On the last few days, it was revealed that the government put forward a new tax on land-based gambling, with the purpose of increasing the revenue allocated to social welfare. This means a 2% duty will be levied on the prizes awarded by slot machines. According to the Buenos Aires Province estimates, about 6,000 million pesos could be raised in tax revenue thanks to this (169 million dollars).