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Argentina – Buenos Aires must curb illegal lotteries

By - 25 April 2016

The Chamber of Lottery Outlets in the Province of Buenos Aires (CAOLAB) has called on lawmakers to “work on creating laws which will give the state the means necessary to regulate and administer virtual gaming which is proliferating before their eyes via the internet.”

The statement also said that those who were fundamentally opposed to gaming on principle and were actively moving to ban certain types of lottery games, which have already been permitted under local laws, were infringing on the rights of those living in the province of Buenos Aires.

“Gaming is no game and the seriousness with which the Constitution of the Province of Buenos Aires takes it is shown by the reforms to article 37 made in 1994. It gives by law the right of the inhabitants of this province to receive through social welfare and health programmes the resources generated by gaming as properly created and regulated by law . . . If one is against gaming and one comes out against it making an advance in the province what gaming are we talking about? Gaming that has been created and is regulated by law?” The statement went on the say that in so doing critics of legal gaming were unwittingly helping illegal operators and were working “against the rights of the people.”

The statement also pointed out that illegal gaming was becoming an increasingly urgent issue. “Illegal gaming generates much more than gaming which is managed and regulated by the state. However, their profits are not exploited by the inhabitants of the province. They are only enjoyed by a few, fuelling corruption and criminal networks. For that reason we ask that we are heard when we suggest alternatives to existing forms of gaming in order to make them more effective and more attractive in order to be able to raise income.”
The strongly worded statement comes on the heels of the announcement that Governor of Buenos Aires province María Eugenia Vidal has decided to backtrack over instant quiniela which would have been available in around 4,000 betting agencies. Instants had met strong opposition from church groups as well as members of opposition parties who claimed that they promote gambling addiction.

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