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Argentina – Land-based operators to run online gaming?

By - 27 August 2020

The government of the city of Buenos Aires is aiming to allow the Palermo Racecourse and the casino located in the port of Puerto Madero to offer online gambling, which will be launched before the end of the year. The newly launched online sites could generate $500m pesos in municipal taxes. The government collected $5.2bn in taxes from gambling companies last year.

In May 2020, a Federal Appeals Court temporarily suspended the online gambling licensing process of the City of Buenos Aires following an appeal from local land based gaming operators who claimed the City does not have the authority to approve online gambling.

Now the Buenos Aires government is looking to compensate them for the temporary closure of the gaming rooms, due to the quarantine which has left as many as 3,000 employees unemployed. In addition, the casinos located in the city have stopped paying Gross Income tax during the current crisis.

The representatives of the Civic Coalition party would be willing to accept the changes proposed by the Buenos Aires government, but with the condition that that disgraced businessman Cristóbal López, would not be allowed to take part in the operation and is prosecuted for money laundering. López was found guilty of defrauding the Argentine tax office (AFIP) of $8,000m, but was released last year on bail.

The process to start online gambling in the city of Buenos Aires started at the end of 2018, when the Buenos Aires Legislature approved the law that authorised the operation of online gambling. The following May the regulations were approved.

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