The Legislature of the city of Buenos Aires has approved new modifications in the current online gambling law, which will allow licensed land-based casino operators to participate in the process and apply for an online license. They also approved a law that includes a “clean record” provision, excluding prosecuted people or in trial for serious crimes from the bidding.

Land-based casinos and gambling halls in the capital city, such as the Casino de Puerto Madero and the Hipódromo de Palermo, will be able to participate in the process. The modifications were approved with 27 votes in favor, 5 against and 26 abstentions.

Back in February 2020, when the law was enacted, legislators had established that physical operators could not bid for a license. However, the negative consequences of the pandemic have led them to consider physical casinos in the process, which could end before the end of the year.

In addition, they also approved a project on problem gambling, giving the Government the power to treat addiction and implement prevention and support programs. It also gives the state control over advertising in the online industry. This modification was passed by 37 votes in favor, 4 against and 15 abstentions.

Furthermore, they included a “clean record” clause (37 positive votes, 4 against and 16 abstentions), after the Coalición Cívica – which is part of the ruling party – argued that prosecuted people or in trial for serious crimes should not be allowed to operate online.

The Government aims to collect between $6.6m and $9.2m per year through online gambling. To come into force, these modifications only need the authorization from the Governor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, whose party had led the proposal. Therefore, it is expected that the three modifications will receive the green light and continue the process.