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Emily D. Swoboda

Prohibitive Bill Reportedly Introduced in Buenos Aires Province

8 October 2008

A draft law has reportedly been introduced in Buenos Aires that would prohibit all forms of remote gambling in the federal province, including Internet and mobile.

The bill, introduced in the lower house of the National Congress of Argentina -- located in Buenos Aires -- by Deputy Liliana Piani, would force telecommunications providers to block access to Web sites that offer gambling, according to the Agencia de Noticias Institucionales, or ANI, a Buenos Aires-based wire service that reports on Argentinean governmental developments.

In addition, the law threatens offenders with fines of "ten to twenty times the value of total bets taken in the province."

Ms. Piani is a member of the Civic Coalition Party, which is a relatively new party formed on the principles of socialism and defending the rights of the middle class. (Incidentally, Elisa Maria Avelina Carrió, an Argentine politician, ran in the country's 2007 presidential election as a representative of the Civic Coalition Party, but ultimately lost.)

Ms. Piani said the law is needed to "safeguard society" and prevent "endangering certain fundamental values, such as public order, public health or the protection of minors," ANI reports.

IGamingNews has yet to confirm the reports with Argentine sources but will continue its investigation Thursday.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires. Although the city of Buenos Aires is located inside the provincial territory of Buenos Aires, it is not part of the province.

In July, Mauricio Macri, the mayor of the city of Buenos Aires, was reportedly examining the possibility of a licensing and regulatory scheme for online gambling in which the city would benefit from a percentage of the bets.

Ms. Piani's action, however, would not affect Mr. Macri's notion should it become a proposal.

In other news from the region, IGN has learned that Formoapuestas, an online sports book and casino licensed in the province of Formosa, has lost its license for violating its contract with the Institute for Social Assistance, or IAS, the licensing authority in Formosa.

According to local media reports published last week, IAS terminated the contract because it said Formoapuestas offered games outside the terms of its contract.

The operator was accused of expanding its offering to unauthorized casino games and conducting business in other jurisdictions where online gambling was not allowed. Formoapuestas, IAS said, was only licensed to offer sports betting within the province of Formosa.

Formoapuestas, however, has rejected IAS's claim through a communiqué released by the company's lawyer, Ricardo Basualdo, who said the company has never operated outside the province of Formosa.

IGN was unable to reach Formoapuestas today for comment.

Prohibitive Bill Reportedly Introduced in Buenos Aires Province is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda