The province of Buenos Aires in Argentina recently enacted legislation that will open and regulate the first online casino market within the Argentinean country. Many big players in the industry have taken notice and announced their intent to go after one of the seven official licenses that will be made available. There will be at least ten operators submitting applications and competing for the initial rights to offer real-money online gambling to Buenos Aires residents.
Among those interested in offering their online services in Buenos Aires are Bet365, Flutter Entertainment (formerly Paddy Power Betfair), William Hill, Betway, Codere, The Stars Group, Intralot, Playtech, and some local operators as well. The licenses will cost AR$65 million, which works out to about £1.1 million. Operators will also be subject to a gross gaming revenue tax of 25%.
Operators will be given 15-year contracts which obviously promise plenty of time for them to establish and develop their operations in Argentina. One of the requirements to hold one of the soon to be coveted licenses is that operators must maintain a local physical presence within the province in order for the license to remain valid. Because of this, most of the interested foreign companies have decided to partner with local entities to simplify things.
Bet365 has partnered with Patesko, a local bingo hall operator. Betway is working with Bingo King. Codere LatAm is teaming up with Ibirargen. William Hill has formed a partnership with ArgenBingo and the Stars Group is going with Atlantica de Juegos. Playtech has joined forces with Hotel Casino Tandil and Intralot is to work with BinBaires. Local gaming operators Slot Machines S.A. and Biyemas are also hoping to be awarded with one of the licenses.
The deadline to register for intent to apply for a license passed on June 25, so those in the running are now locked in place. There has been no official word as to when the new licensees will be announced, but it is expected that some companies could be opening their virtual doors in Buenos Aires later this year.