he Modernization and IT Manager of the Buenos Aires City Lottery (LOTBA in Spanish), Sebastián Vivot, opened last week's Inside Latam Sessions held at SAGSE and sponsored by Altenar. He was joined by three members of his team: Federico Cattadori, Mariana Loizaga and Pablo Rouvier.
"Any new regulatory scheme will have an invariable element present: the political timing. Since SAGSE’s day one, everyone’s been asking me when we’ll begin receiving applications, but I haven’t got the answer. We are currently finishing the details of the draft technical standards, which are 99% ready. When we finish and the government authorizes us, we are going to publish the information and call those interested for a series of informative meetings. We are hoping that will occur soon." Vivot explained.
LOTBA's Modernization and IT Manager had told Yogonet in May that operations within Argentina’s capital city would begin in October, with at least three online gaming permits. However, the original plan was altered significantly by the results of Argentina’s primary elections, which were held in August and saw the ruling party be defeated by the opposition. There was certain relief in October, however, as City Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta was re-elected at the general elections. Online gambling efforts were re-boosted.
During the session named Online gaming regulation in the city of Buenos Aires, Vivot and his team delved into the upcoming regulatory scheme in Argentina’s capital city. The Modernization and IT Manager of LOTBA remind the audience that in accordance with Buenos Aires City constitution, gambling must be operated by the City, not private entities. "From a legal standpoint, we are, technically, not speaking about license holders but instead, online gaming agencies operating under permits granted by LOTBA. But the lottery would retain ownership of those games," he explained.
He also stated that this vertical has been regulated since December 2018, but the relevant entity, LOTBA, has not issued any permits yet. "That is why anyone who is currently operating online gaming in our jurisdiction is engaging in a criminal act."
The law approved only authorizes the operation of land-based games that already exist in the City: casino, poker, Punto y Banca —a type of baccarat—, blackjack, and sports betting. Bingo has been excluded. LOTBA has reserved the right to operate lottery games.
Vivot said that the Buenos Aires Province Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC in Spanish) has registered the domain .bet.ar, which only those companies authorized by a regulatory entity from Argentina will be able to use, and LOTBA is likely to adopt the same domain. He ruled out the possibility that the 1270 lottery agencies could become online gaming ‘retail’ points. "We are solely going to regulate online and mobile wagering. We could allow those agencies to become top-up points, but will get into those details later," he explained.
LOTBA’S team is currently working on the last details of the draft technical standards, a document that potential permit-holders would need to know the requirements their platforms should comply with. The standards include intelligent data control, responsible gaming policies, register of labs, manufacturers and components and requirements by the Money-Laundering Prevention Unit.