As expected, the proposal was met with intense resistance from members of the coalition party Cambiemos and other lawmakers, who cited that it would pave the way for money laundering. But that did not stop the Senate and Chamber of Deputies from voting in favour of the project.
The supporters argued that illegal online gaming was a reality in the country and that it existed in a legal vacuum. They also added that blocking offshore operators was a losing strategy that has never worked anywhere in the world, not to mention that the province clearly needs extra revenue.
Though the province is expected to give out only seven licenses, these lucky casinos will have to pay 15% in taxes. That is an estimated 2.2 billion pesos (£45 million) in revenue.
Online gaming in Buenos Aires isn’t exactly a new thing. There are over 6,000 points of sale to buy virtual credits. But the thing is, not a single cent of this gaming money was getting to the province’s accounts. All the casinos targeting this area operated from Misiones, the first district to legalise betting, or from another country.
However, companies looking to take a piece of the Argentinian gaming pie have to set up shop in La Plata to pay tribute to Buenos Aires’s accounts. Any casino that does not meet this requirement will be blocked from reaching the city’s 16 million residents. However, they will be reinstated immediately after investing in the province.
Overall, the Argentine authorities are looking to have a tighter grip on the gaming industry by regulating who plays and how they do it.