The largest and most populous province in Argentina could soon reportedly institute a 2% duty on bingo and casino winnings so as to finance a new ‘social fund’ while issuing up to seven online gambling licenses in hopes of raising an additional $61.8 million in tax.
According to a report from CalvinAyre.com, the proposals for Buenos Aires Province were contained in the 2019 budget put forward by Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal (pictured) on Monday and are now making their way through the legislative process via consideration by a local government committee.
Citing ‘Argentine media outlets’, CalvinAyre.com explained that the proposed licenses would cover the provision of online casino games alongside wagering on sporting and pop culture events and see operators required to pay a 15% revenue tax. The domain reported that the proposition would moreover require licensees to set up shop in the province of over 15.6 million people and oblige the government to block any outside firms from offering their services.
Change of heart:
CalvinAyre.com reported that the online licensing proposition had come as something of a surprise because Vidal has long been seen as an opponent to expanded gambling. She purported stated earlier this week that casinos and bingo halls should not be permitted to open in less affluent areas and instead be limited to ‘a tourist place’.
However, the 45-year-old first-term governor reportedly justified her recent about-face by declaring that the move would allow Buenos Aires Province to exert ‘greater control’ over online gambling by ensuring that the government can ‘regulate who plays, how they do it, everything is banked’ while guaranteeing the provision of self-exclusion tools.
Meanwhile, CalvinAyre.com reported that last month saw the government for neighboring Entre Rios Province ban all online gambling as it works to help the local IAFAS lottery operator develop an iGaming platform of its own.
Misionbet.com.ar saga rumbles on:
Even further north in Misiones Province and last month reportedly also saw the local online gambling domain at Misionbet.com.ar close for a second time. The site operated by the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos of the State Society (IPLyC) purportedly premiered in 2015 but was shuttered in May of 2017 amid allegations that it had been illicitly accepting wagers from people in Buenos Aires.
CalvinAyre.com reported that Misionbet.com.ar subsequently re-launched in January after promising that it would only take wagers from the 1.1 million inhabitants of Misiones Province. But, the service purportedly went down again on October 31 with its homepage displaying a message that it was now ‘working on our platform to give you a superior proposal and continue making the game a recreational and responsible activity’.
The IPLyC has since reportedly issued a statement detailing that the domain had been shuttered due to ‘reasons beyond its control, non-attributable to the IPLyC, and within the framework of its obligation to guarantee transparency and security for gamblers’. Conversely, local media sources have since purportedly claimed that the site had been moth-balled due to an effort by the operator to bring its technology in-house following the expiration of a contract with online gambling services firm Integrated Systems SA.