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Argentina – Lawmaker proposes new national tax on online gambling

By - 29 January 2024

Provincial legislator Rodrigo Agrelo has urged national deputies representing the province to promote a debate on the creation of an extraordinary emergency tax on gambling.

Agrelo wants to prevent an increase in export taxes on corn, wheat, and soybean by-products in the midst of an increasingly difficult economic situation in Argentina. This includes concerns over potential reductions in federal government contributions to provinces, coupled with increased export taxes.

“Neither the Urgent Necessity Decree (DNU) nor the (Javier) Milei omnibus law foresee modifying Law 27,346 (income tax law) to tax gambling more heavily. We must prioritize production and punish gambling with higher taxes,” stated the legislator.

The “omnibus bill” is a wide ranging economic deregulation and state reform proposal put forward by libertarian President Javier Milei.  Milei released an 86-page document known as a decree of necessity and urgency (DNU, by its Spanish acronym) that contained 366 articles in December. The DNU declared a financial, fiscal, and administrative “emergency” in Argentina.

In his speech Agrelo stated, “With a 10 percent tax, 37 percent of the expected revenue increase from corn and wheat export taxes in 2024 would be collected.” As an example the lawmaker argued that this year revenue from online sports betting will stand at USD1.39 billion in Argentina.

“It is clear that agricultural exports stem from a purely productive and risky activity, so it is necessary to consider alternatives to avoid further imposing tax burdens on them,” Agrelo said, explaining that proposals to raise export taxes from 12 to 15 percent on corn and wheat, and from 31 to 33 percent on soybean by-products, “have a particular impact on our province.”

Online gaming is now fully enabled in the territory of Córdoba after completing a 45 day trial period between November 21st and January 4th. Of the four authorized companies, three have begun to take bets. Online operators in Córdoba recorded revenues of 25 million pesos per day (around USD30,000) during the first official week of operation. In the first week online platforms reported revenues of $173,447,344 pesos (around USD213,000) with an average of $11,118 (USD13) for each registered user, according to province officials. In Argentina there is no national law in place regarding online gambling and online gambling is regulated on a province by province basis.   

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