After years of reluctance, government officials in Argentina have finally nodded to legalize online gambling in Buenos Aires.
Argentina has been witnessing a flourishing casino industry since the 1990s. However, the authorities had been hesitant to allow the online gambling industry in the South American country. However, the new reports suggest the change of heart of lawmakers here in the wake of general acceptance of the new industry worldwide.
The issue had been under discussion in Argentina for several years. Many issues have impeded online gaming here. Let’s discuss what led to this change of attitude.
South America’s Gambling Industry is Still Struggling
Since March, the casinos around the world were forced to shut their doors due to the pandemic. Almost all the land-based casinos remained shut for months following March. The casinos in the South American countries, including Chile and Argentina, followed suit.
It has now been around six months since the regulations were enforced. Inevitably, the closures have been resulting in economic ruin for the casino industry in many countries. As the Covid-19 is showing no signs of retreat, things seem to deteriorate further.
Different countries are pursuing whatever course of action they deem right to tackle the pandemic. In Chile, gaming officials have labored to arrange loans and new investors to help leading casinos stay afloat. It is the second time casinos in Chile have been shut down in 2020. The government is trying to keep the casinos from bankruptcy.
What’s Happening in Argentina?
Like Chile, Argentina, too, is laboring hard to protect its gambling industry. The government had been considering the regulation of online gambling for years. These efforts have intensified recently, and many experts believe the move could help the industry and the country some much-need revenue.
The pandemic seems to have hastened the policymaking in Argentina. It now looks the Buenos Aires government is considering this matter seriously. The local authorities have recently presented a plan to allow businesses to procure online gambling licenses later this year.
Let’s see how it will reflect over the Argentina gambling industry in moving forward.
Buenos Aires Soon to Regulate Online Gambling
Argentina has developed a flourishing casino market over the past few years. However, the pandemic-led measures forced the closures of all casinos back in March. The casinos have still been shuttered, drawing fears among the analysts that they will remain closed permanently.
Authorities in Buenos Aires realize its time to find an out-of-the-box solution. Last week, they put forward a new plan for casino operators to apply for online gaming licenses. Several reasons explain the new proposition.
The most immediate reason is to protect the gambling industry. As noted above, these gaming venues are still shuttered. The ability to draw revenue from online gambling could help them keep afloat.
Besides, government officials are also perturbed by the increase in illegal, unregulated online gambling in Argentina. The legalization of the industry will help bring the money directly into the government’s pocket.
While speaking on the illegal gambling trend, an official said, “Illegal gambling is five times worse than what it was at the beginning of the Covid-19, so we have to regulate (the market).”
A number of leading casino operators have already requested to join the bidding process for an online gaming license. As of now, the bidding process is scheduled to start by the end of the year.
Brazil’s Casino Plans Have Been Deferred
As noted earlier, South America has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Even now, the rate of the spread of infection has been increasing in the continent. However, Brazil has been the worst hit by the pandemic.
With the third-highest infection rate worldwide, Brazil’s situation has taken a serious turn while affecting many industries. The outbreak has already deferred the country’s plans to allow casino gambling finally.
For years, Brazil has banned traditional casino gambling. However, things seemed to change in 2019 when lawmakers presented a bill that would finally allow casinos to operate there.
But now Brazil’s casino plans have been shelved as the gambling industry is a less priority for now. However, things may improve by the turn of the year.
As far as Argentina is concerned, it seems online gambling in Buenos Aires will be available by early 2021. The local officials are sifting through suitable companies before awarding gaming licenses. It is hoped that the process will go smoothly and will be beneficial for Argentina’s casino industry.