Gambling Legislation

Argentina reconsiders online casino expansion in Buenos Aires

Argentina reconsiders online casino expansion in Buenos Aires

Concerns over youth gambling leads to a moratorium on online casino growth

The online gambling industry in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has encountered a roadblock. The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires government, led by Jorge Macri, has announced a halt on issuing new online casino licenses. This decision stems from growing concerns about potential gambling harm inflicted on minors.

While the existing 11 online casino operators will be allowed to continue functioning, the government has mandated an immediate review. This review will focus on the effectiveness of age verification processes currently employed by these licensed operators.

The Argentine capital embraced a regulated online gambling market in 2020. The City of Buenos Aires Lottery (LOTBA) spearheaded this initiative, accepting applications from local gambling establishments partnered with international online operators like bet365, GiG, Betsson, and Playtech. However, Macri emphasized that the issue of underage gambling has become a significant source of worry for parents.

“We will not turn a blind eye to these problems,” declared Macri. “We confront them head-on, even when solutions aren’t readily available. Our stance is unambiguous: not on our watch when it comes to children.”

The upcoming review will assess licensees’ compliance with responsible gambling practices. This includes scrutinizing the efficacy of age verification systems, self-exclusion tools, and player limitations on both wagering time and potential losses. Additionally, operators will be required to implement transaction and advertising alerts and restrictions. Measures to prevent minors from exploiting fraudulent data to access gambling platforms will also be explored.

Macri further announced the establishment of a facility dedicated to helping minors struggling with gambling addiction. Collaborative efforts with e-commerce and social media platforms are planned to tackle the issue of illegal gambling content by blocking or removing it altogether. The government will also take steps to restrict access to online gambling sites on government-managed WiFi networks.

This move by the Buenos Aires government signifies a prioritization of player protection, particularly when it comes to vulnerable younger demographics. The upcoming review aims to ensure a safer online gambling environment within the city.

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