The City of Buenos Aires government last Friday announced a proposal that seeks to reform the existing restrictions on online gaming. The changes will take effect once a bidding process for online licences is reactivated by the capital city before the year end.
The plan, which was submitted to the Buenos Aires Legislature, would allow operators with existing land-based licences to participate in the online gaming bidding process. Initially this was banned in the first draught which entered into force in February 2020.
“Illegal gambling is five times worse than what it was at the beginning of the pandemic, so we need to regulate [the market],” the government explained, adding the reforms are also aimed at protecting land-based casinos that closed their doors in mid-March and are still unable to open.
Both the casino of Puerto Madero and the Hipódromo de Palermo had demanded permission to participate in the online licence bidding process, while official lottery agencies had also urged the authorities to be part of the industry.
The project establishes that the prohibition “constitutes an obstacle to ensure the effective validity of the bidders in terms of participation and competition, necessary in the Public Call and the Registry of future agents.”
In addition , the proposed regulation will introduce a new segment called “clean record” that would prohibit “people with criminal records or in trial for crimes such as human trafficking, terrorism or drugs, human or gun trafficking, or laundering of assets or for crimes included in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption” from participating in the bidding process.