Argentina’s Gambling Industry Continues to Grow as Mendoza Seeks Operators

Posted on: October 27, 2022, 09:10h. 

Last updated on: October 27, 2022, 10:43h.

It’s taken a couple of years to make progress, but the Argentinian province of Mendoza is ready to move forward with online gambling and betting. The Provincial Institute of Games and Casinos (IPJyC, for its Spanish acronym) has issued a call for public bidding to establish and regularize online gambling in the province.

Casino Mendoza
Casino Mendoza in Mendoza, Argentina, at night. The province is moving forward with plans for online gambling and is now accepting bids from operators. (Image: Mendoza de Noche)

In total, the IPJyC will issue a minimum of two and a maximum of five licenses. Each will be valid for 10 years, according to a resolution in Wednesday’s Official Gazette, the government’s reporting platform.

The IPJyC will be in charge of granting the licenses, which will be available for almost all forms of online gambling and sports betting. Interested operators have to act fast, as the window for approval of bids will close in less than three weeks.

iGaming Advances Quickly in Argentina

The announcement of Mendoza’s initiative comes immediately after the province of Cordoba moved forward with its own iGaming plans. The market officially went live today, but the selected operators are still in the process of launching their services.

Cordoba’s iGaming market will have certain limitations. However, Mendoza, which is set to host the final game of the Argentina Cup this weekend, is opening its market to virtually everything. The legal definition of online gambling includes all games of chance, raffles, bets, and random combinations (lotteries).

The legislation states that the market will include “all activities in which money or objects are at stake, economically evaluable on the results.” All activity must be conducted completely through digital means – mobile apps, websites, and other digital solutions that might arrive in the future.

The legislation established the definition of online gambling and included restrictions on what online operators could offer. For example, draws such as lotteries, pools, and raffles cannot be offered, even if they’re available solely online.

Responsible Gambling at Heart of Mendoza Initiative

Online gambling is occurring in Argentina, but without regulations in place. The head of the IPJyC, Ida López, told legislators that this violates peoples’ rights. It doesn’t provide the necessary protections to keep children from gambling, and doesn’t allow the regulator or the government to adequately address responsible gambling.

To help with the latter, Mendoza will have a robust responsible gaming program. Operators will have the ability to block accounts, as needed, to meet provincial requirements. In addition, gamblers can self-exclude or limit their spending through the use of Argentina’s Single Registry of Self-excluded Persons.

Gamblers will appreciate the fact that they won’t have to pay taxes on their winnings. Operators will face tax liabilities according to the category they operate in, and an initial schedule will be set. This will include fees for licenses and the continuing right to operate. It will be a percentage of what the company collects, minus any payouts.

Recurring Costs

As reported by the IPJyC, it’s possible to calculate the amount of money required to maintain and fulfill the contracts. It will be “between 1% and 5% of the average of the net result of the profits obtained in the Casino Annex of the East Zone and, where appropriate, of Rivadavia and San Martín, in the last 12 months.”

The latter part refers to the revenue of areas that have land-based casino operations.

The bidders can now present their proposals. They should include a description of the technical system offered and the fee they’re willing to pay. The duration of the bidding process will be the longer of 20 calendar days or 12 business days.

At the end of the submission period, the pre-award commission, comprised of members of the IPJyC, will evaluate the bids. As the last step, it will select the finalists. But the notice doesn’t specify how quickly this will happen.