The Government of the City of Buenos Aires has unveiled a project that would allow the Casino de Puerto Madero to operate online sports betting. The aim is to boost its economic recovery after a slowdown in the past five months, enabling the Government to collect $6.8m in taxes from the new vertical.

The proposal says that the City should review the current sports betting regulation in the Argentinian capital, which was approved in February 2020.

According to current regulations, companies interested in obtaining a license, both national and international, must pay a $30k fee in administrative expenses. They also need to demonstrate at least two years of experience in the business and a net worth of $25m, as well as a certification from accredited laboratories in the Official Registry of LOTBA S.E.

Although local media assured that this is a viable option and that the ruling party in the City —Juntos por el Cambio— is behind the initiative, the legislators asked the Government to add some conditions to prevent Cristóbal López, former owner of Inverclub and operator of Casino de Puerto Madero, from entering the business, as he is considered a controversial political figure in the country.

“We are not willing to risk Cristóbal López’s participation in the online gambling industry. It’s very important that this is a clean industry. We also ask for online sports betting advertising restrictions,” said a legislator from the Civic Coalition Facundo del Gaiso to local newspaper Clarín.

Currently, there are six other gambling companies involved in the process to obtain an official licence for sports betting in the City.