Casinos in Argentina's capital city, Buenos Aires, are looking to launch online sports betting soon.

  • Casino de Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires is seeking to get online and mobile sportsbooks to become a reality in the city.
  • Most everyone is in favor of a legal internet sports betting market which shows estimates of an annual revenue of $6.8 million if approved.

BUENOS AIRES – A casino in Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires, is requesting licenses to operate online sports betting platforms. Gambling on sports in the country is a tad confusing as each province has its own laws on the issue.

Buenos Aires, for example, just approved sports wagering in February of this year as a legal activity. And now a casino in the area, Casino de Puerto Madero, wants mobile and online options for their patrons.

Could Buenos Aires Get Mobile Sportsbooks?

Lawmakers in the city would like to approve online and mobile sportsbooks with some stipulations set in place.

Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the industry has not seen the revenue that was expected with land-based establishments and sports in general both shutting down to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19 the last five months.

Buenos Aires is in need of alternate sources of funding from revenue markets and approving internet sportsbooks could help with that. It is estimated that the city could see $6.8 million annually in revenue by allowing mobile Argentina sports wagering platforms to exist.

A structure for the online industry has been proposed which would use current regulations as far as licensing is concerned. An initial fee of $30k is needed upfront for the application process.

Operators that wish to apply must show that they have had at least two years in the sports betting business and a minimum net worth of $25 million. The Official Registry of the Loteria de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (LOTBA S.E.) also has to certify these companies in order for them to be eligible for internet licenses.

While lawmakers and the organization Juntos por el Cambio (Together For Change) are in favor of granting online sports betting to establishments in the area there is one rule that they want assurances for before proceeding.

They do not want Cristóbal López, former owner of Casino de Puerto Madero, anywhere near the industry.

López has been a public figure of constant scandal when it comes to his dealings with business as it’s been said that he has laundered money using businesses like that of his former casino as a front to engage in criminal activity.

Everyone involved would like to ensure that sports betting remains unscathed by any negative connections which means that it would be best for López not to try and get back into business with his old casino as some fear he might do should online sportsbooks be approved.

“We are not willing to risk Cristóbal López’s participation in the online gambling industry. It’s very important that this is a clean industry. We also ask for online sports betting advertising restrictions,” said Facundo del Gaiso, a legislator with the Civic Coalition.

What’s Next?

There are six casinos in Buenos Aires currently in the process of receiving approval for sportsbooks at their facilities. Casino de Puerto Madero already has theirs and would be the first to offer online sports betting should the government approve the new outlet.

Each of the six other casinos would likely follow with trying to obtain mobile sportsbooks in the future.

With the only thing holding legislators back from approving internet sports betting in Buenos Aires being Cristóbal López, it’s probably a safe bet that the capital of Argentina will be getting mobile sports betting.

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