Buenos Aires officials urge new steps to mitigate COVID economic impact

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The Chamber of Official Lottery Agents in Buenos Aires (CAOLAB) has requested the Argentine Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC) to come up with a solution to reduce the economic impact resulting from the decision to stop activities due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The President of CAOLAB, Marcelo Iglesias, sent a letter to Omar Galdurralde, new IPLyC authority, requesting assistance during and after the quarantine period. 

“The agencies shut down their operations in accordance with government regulations. But they will perceive a drop in game sales,” he said.

The president explained that it’s a serious situation for lottery agents, and stated that even though rents will be frozen, they won’t be able to pay them due to a lack of  income. In addition, he stressed that salaries are a priority, and that financial obligations are at risk as well. 

“This is the reality for more than 10.000 families,” he added.

CAOLAB has now urged the IPLyC to come up with a relief package so obligations can be met: “We must find new strategies and we will need payment flexibility to guarantee salaries while the quarantine lasts. The agency owners request that the IPLyC considers a joint and shared effort to ensure that this period has a moderate effect.”

The chamber requested that the IPLyC adjusts the March billing cycle at a rate of 1.61 and recalculates the fee that they sent to the commission. “Our requests come from the fact that activity in March was limited,” Iglesias explained.

The lottery agents also demanded that once the quarantine period ends, the IPLyC allows them to collect winnings the first week and use that money to self-finance their operations. Iglesias proposed that the tax collection authorities cancel the Gross Income Tax for at least 60 days, among other measures.

“We know how this industry works, and it would be beneficial for everyone if we could help define what the best option is. There are challenges ahead and we’ll need the help of the government to keep payments up to date. If a business can’t run operations, it cannot pay,” he concluded.