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Argentina – Support grows for Buenos Aires Government to take control of gaming

By - 29 March 2016

Buenos Aires Deputy Maria Ines Gorbea (SUMA+, Party), has said ‘the city should take over the business of gaming.’

Alongside her colleagues from the Coalición Cívica, Gorbea introduced a comprehensive new gaming law last week that sets out to regulate the activity until the licences granted to operators in the city end. The new law also creates a system whereby gaming machines in the capital would be monitored online and in real time by a central government-controlled server, makes advertising of gambling illegal, prohibits the installation of cash machines in gaming establishments and includes a wide number of player protection measures. However, once the present licences end the bill proposes an eventual end to gaming in the city.

“Our idea is that there is no gaming, but there is a pre-existing situation, which is why we propose that concessions are not renewed once they expire,” Gorbea told local news portal Noticias Urbanas.
The lawmaker said that it was essential that the autonomous government of the city of Buenos Aires regained control over gaming within the city limits. Referring to the recent claims surrounding gaming entrepreneur Cristóbal López she said: “There is a gross income debt from the casino at the racetrack, the debt will be difficult to pinpoint, only López knows what he made all these years. Slot machines do not have a system of control over what they collect, only he knows what they take in,” she said.

Last week it was reported that an envoy of President Mauricio Macri had been sent to inform Cristóbal López that he has one month to repay a tax debt to the City of Buenos Aires of an estimated $4bn pesos. According to local daily Clarín the debt has been accumulating since 2003 for gross income on revenue generated by slot machines located in the capital.

Mauricio Macri won the presidential election beating rival Daniel Scioli in a closely contested Presidential race in December and his Cambiemos (Let’s Change) party now holds power over the province of Buenos Aires and the City of Buenos Aires. Mayor of Buenos Aires Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and Macri have already begun to negotiate the transfer of gaming to the jurisdiction of the City of Buenos Aires which means major changes are on the way for how gaming is run and taxed.

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