New legal framework for online gambling applicable in the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires


The City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires (Argentina’s most relevant jurisdictions) entered into an agreement in November 2018 in order to commit themselves to regulate online gambling platforms. In the context of the agreement, both jurisdictions have issued different rules in the past few months setting forth the basis for online gambling businesses to operate legally. 

Legal framework applicable in the Province of Buenos Aires

Law No. 15,079 and Decree No. 181/2019 set forth the regulation for online gambling activity within the territory of the Province of Buenos Aires.

According to the provisions of the aforementioned rules, the following games are considered to be online gambling games:

- electronic gambling machines;

- casino games;

- lotteries;

- betting on virtual games, with the exception of lottery games;

- betting on horse racing; and

- betting on actual events, whether they involve sports or not. The latter includes all events which are not of a political nature.

These activities shall be carried out by individuals or public or private entities, with domicile in the Province of Buenos Aires.

Foreign companies may participate only under temporary joint ventures  together with a local company provided that the latter has a shareholding not lower than 15% with respect to the former.

In order to operate, a license must be obtained before the Provincial Lottery and Casino Institute. The authority has launched a bid and will grant a maximum of seven (7) licenses. 

Every individual or entity interested in participating in the bid must be previously registered with the Registry of Prospective Licensees, which is currently operative and accepting requests for registration. The registered prospective licensees will have until June 25, 2019 to present all required documentation in order to participate in the bid.

The aforementioned rules also regulate the licensees’ rights and obligations, including their advertisement obligations and the technical requirements that their systems must meet, amongst others.

Legal framework applicable in the City of Buenos Aires 

The Board of Directors of the Lottery of the City of Buenos Aires (or LOTBA, for its Spanish acronym, which is the authority that regulates games of chance, gambling and connected activities within the city of Buenos Aires) issued a resolution regulating online games of chance, sport gambling, gambling on virtual games and gambling on non-sport events through the use of the machines or technologies detailed in said resolution. 

The resolution requires companies to obtain a license issued by LOTBA and sets forth the requirements and prohibitions to obtain it.

Following the approval of the abovementioned resolution, a law regulating all the details of the licenses to be granted was passed on May 23, 2019.

The law has four annexes:

(i) Annex I: setting forth the general rules and definitions to be used. 

(ii) Annex II: regulating the granting of licenses to commercialize or distribute online gambling games, requirements for gamblers to be able to use the platforms and requirements for online gambling agencies.

(iii) Annex III: regulating the requirements to be fulfilled by the software, hardware and informatics infrastructure in general, the users’ registration and verification process, fraud prevention and security measures.

(iv) Annex IV: setting forth a policy on responsible gambling.

For additional information please contact Adrian Furman, Francisco Zappa and/or Catalina Malara.