Argentina is one of the largest gambling markets in Latin America. The gambling business in Argentina is legal and brings in USD 4.1 billion annually. The country is second only to Brazil and Mexico in this respect.
The gambling market in Argentina is developing at a very fast pace. There are about 100 licensed casinos with a wide range of gambling operations in the country.
Regulation is at the provincial level. Each province has its own laws.
Most gambling venues per capita are located in the following provinces:
- Buenos Aires;
- Entre Rios;
- San Luis;
- Santiago del Estero;
Online gambling business has been legalized since 2002. The online market accounts for about USD 1 billion of all bets and costs made by Argentines. In 2008, the government banned the issuance of licenses to online operators at the state level. Companies must apply to the provincial authorities to obtain permission.
Gambling legislation of Argentina
Each province of Argentina has its own set of gambling laws. There is no national law.
The country’s Supreme Court ruled on May 31, 1999 that the regulation of gambling (lotteries, casino games, bingo and slots) is not a national issue. In this respect, the state only assumes matters related to crimes, as well as the administration of the National Lottery.
Each province of Argentina independently determines which games are prohibited on its territory and which are allowed. The largest province is Buenos Aires. The same region of the country explicitly mentions gambling in its Constitution.
Not so long ago, the government of the republic published a bill of national importance dedicated to the fight against gambling addiction (Ley Nº 29907, Ley para la prevención y el tratamiento de la ludopatía en las salas de juegos de casino y máquinas tragamonedas). Perhaps this is the only law of state importance regarding the gambling business in Argentina.
According to Article 37 of the Provincial Constitution (Carta Magna), the local authorities retain a monopoly over casinos and gambling halls. It also clearly states that no privatization or concession is possible, as is often done in other countries.
In practice, several establishments are run by private operators – subsidiaries of Boldt S.A. That, in turn, is engaged in information technology, security systems, as well as entertainment and tourist centers. Private establishments take 50.82% of gross receipts from slot machines. The provincial authorities receive all fees from board games.
The rest of the casinos are run by the state. In all establishments, Boldt S.A. responsible for the installation and maintenance of slot machines.
In total, there are 62 gaming halls with various types of games throughout the province. The total number of slot machines is about 22,000. The main establishment is Casino de Tigre, which brings in 50.82% of the net profit. Bingo halls give 34% of the net profit.
The province of Santa Fe was the last to allow the establishment of gaming clubs on its territory. The law was passed in December 2001.
There are three casinos operating here:
- Rosario City Center;
- Casino Melincué;
- Casino de Santa Fe.
All casinos bring about 20% of the total net profit of the gambling business in the province. The total number of slot machines is 3,901. In addition, operators pay a monthly tax on each gaming table. The rate varies from 1,100 to 2,000 USD, depending on the facility and casino.
In March 2000, Cordova authorized the privatization of the establishments. In addition, slot machines have been installed in the provinces since then. All games in the province are operated by the Entertainment and Tourism Company (CET). Cordova has granted him the slot machine concession since 2002. Now the organization controls 19 halls, where 3,398 slot machines are installed.
The net profit is 34% of the total for all casinos. Of these, 31% goes to the provincial government, 4% to the municipalities. Most of the revenue comes from slot machines. From these finances, even the school cafeteria program is provided.
State Law 25246 organizes a financial service (Unidad de Información Financiera, UIF), which is responsible for preventing fraudulent money laundering in the gambling business. If the prize is more than 10,000 pesos, the winner must report to this service.
In Argentina, the following regulators are involved in the gambling business:
- provincial authorities;
- Association of Lotteries, Cash Lotteries and Casinos of the Argentine Provinces (Asociación de Loterías, Quinielas y Casinos Estatales de Argentina, ALEA) – a government organization that regulates many issues of gambling and sports;
- General Directorate for Casino Games and Slot Machines of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Dirección General de Juegos de Casino y Máquinas Tragamonedas of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, MINCETUR).
Argentina is also a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD).
The National Lottery is administered by the Ministry of Social Development (Ministerio de Desarrollo Social). The government agency is responsible for receiving and distributing lottery income. The company that organizes the National Lottery is called Lottery Nacional S.E. It provides more than just lotteries. Her expertise also includes sports betting, casino games, horse racing and other gambling.
Conditions for obtaining a license in Argentina
Land licenses are issued under different rules in each province. Online licenses are issued by Asociación de Loterías, Quinielas and Casinos Estatales de Argentina.
However, the laws are often so vague that operators sometimes use foreign licenses or a license from only one province.
Online gambling in Argentina
Here are the most popular online casinos in Argentina:
- William Hill;
- 888 Casino;
Online casinos in Argentina provide a wide range of games for all gambling enthusiasts. The most popular category is slot machines, just like in land-based casinos.
Popular slot machines in the country
Here is a list of the most popular slot machines in Argentina online casinos:
- 5 Reel Drive;
- Forbidden Throne;
- Dead or Alive;
- Wild Toro;
- Irish Gold.
5 Reel Drive is a slot machine from Microgaming with 5 reels and 9 pay lines. This is one of the simple slots without bonuses, but there are wild and scatter symbols.
Forbidden Throne is a 5 reel, 40 payline slot from Microgaming. The slot has wild reels and free spins.
Dead or Alive is a five-reel slot machine from NetEnt. The slot offers 5 pay lines, two types of wild symbols, free spins with additional multipliers.
Wild Toro is a slot from Elk Studios with 5 reels and 178 ways to make combinations. You can set up an automatic game strategy. There are 2 types of wild symbols, respins, bonus game.
Irish Gold is a 3-reel, 5-payline slot machine from Play’n GO. The slot has a chance to hit the jackpot of 5000 coins.
Gambling software developers
Argentina is one of the largest gambling markets in all of Latin America. That is why the leading casino and slot game manufacturers choose it as their base for work in this region. Major developers include:
- WMS Gaming;
Leander Games is an Argentinean slot machine company. The studio produces high-quality video slots and specializes in the online market.
Argentina today is striking with its high growth rates in the gaming industry. However, this growth is hardly controlled due to the fact that there are no national laws regulating gambling. Because of this, a large number of inconsistencies and loopholes for scammers arise.
The market works in an opaque manner, and besides, the number of gambling establishments in Argentina is now almost unlimited. Such explosive growth can cause a complete ban on gambling. As is known from the experience of other countries, this does not lead to anything good.
In order for the gambling business to develop further, and also bring good profit to the state, Argentina needs to pay attention to its legislation. This is necessary to establish transparent and clear laws, reasonable taxes and restrictions, and increase control over the problem of gambling addiction.