Licensing

Buenos Aires Province awards 7 igaming licences

2 minutes read
The president of the Buenos Aires’ Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos has awarded online operating licenses to 7 gaming companies, including brands owned by William Hill, Playtech and Betsson.

Announced on 31 December 2020, licences were granted to Argenbingo, in partnership with William Hill; Pasteko together with bet365; Hotel Casino Tandil with Playtech and 888 Holdings with Boldt. 

In addition, Atlantica de Juegos and Flutter Entertainment; Binbaires with Intralot, and Casino de Victoria in partnership with Betsson, have all been licensed.

Licensees will be required to pay a single fixed fee of AR$65m (£565,000/€625,000/$768,000), with AR$26m required at the moment of signing the agreement which formalises the granting of the licence, with the remaining sum to be paid later. They will also be subject to a 25% gross revenue tax.

Within 10 days of signing for a licence, the operators must present the regulator’s compliance guarantee to ensure they will undertake the responsibilities set out in provincial regulations.

The regulations state that licences may only be awarded in cases where operations will be carried out by a human or legal person, or a public or private entity with a registered address in the province of Buenos Aires.

In the case of foreign companies, licences may only be granted under a temporary union of companies (UTE) where a locally based person or company holds a minimum 15% stake in the operation.

The seven operators’ applications were approved in January last year, with the exception of Betsson’s partnership with Casino de Victoria, which had been eighth in line to receive a licence.

It was subsequently awarded one of the seven available after Paddy Power Betfair and Bingo Pilar’s application was withdrawn, following parent Flutter’s acquisition of The Stars Group.

The province’s licensing process officially launched in June 2019, with criteria for selection including industry experience, financial capacity and data security.

However, the process appeared to grind to a halt in the wake of provincial governor Axel Kicillof’s election. This meant it took more than a year before the licences were confirmed in the province’s Official Gazette.

The City of Buenos Aires, meanwhile, has developed its own regulatory framework, under which operators – and later land-based gaming businesses – could apply for a licence to operate in the Argentinean capital.

This sets annual licence fees of USD$100,000, as well as a USD$30,000 licence processing fee. Operators in the capital will have to pay a 10% gross revenue tax.