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Buenos Aires province moves to regulate online gambling

Buenos Aires governor María Eugenia Vidal has included a measure to regulate online gambling in the province's 2019 budget, which is now before the legislature for approval.

Should the budget be approved, seven licences would be issued in the province covering online sports betting, online horse race betting and online casino gaming.

The budget includes a 15 per cent tax on online gaming operators, which could boost the province’s struggling economy by as much as ARS$2.2bn (US$62m) annually.

Gambling in Argentina is overseen on a provincial basis, with the province of Buenos Aires - home to more than 15 million people - yet to adopt a regulatory framework for online gambling. The federal capital city of Buenos Aires is not included in the province.

Under the proposed scheme, the Buenos Aires Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC) would require online gambling companies to base their operations in the provincial capital La Plata.

Vidal has also proposed a 15 per cent tax on gross income from land-based gambling with the aim of creating a “social fund”. This would see slots players subjected to a 2 per cent tax on winnings, with the provincial government hoping to collect ARS$6bn (US$169m) from the measure, which is likely to face strong opposition from the sector.

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