Argentina: “Mendoza is preparing to open the bidding process to operate online games in the province”
Online gaming is a modality which, especially in Argentinahas experienced in recent months a gradual process of legalization and regulation which, due to the federal nature of the country, has taken place province by province.
Currently, more than half of national jurisdictions offer online gambling legally or have a law in place allowing them to operate and provincial regulators are working to regulate it, as in the province of Mendoza.
As part of ICE London 2022, Yogonet conducted an exclusive interview with Ida López, president of the Institute of Games and Casinos of Mendoza (the Mendoza gaming regulator), who ensured that the entity is very close to finalizing the regulation of online sports betting and games, and intends to launch a public call for tenders to grant a maximum of seven licenses before the end of this year.
“We intend to complete the bidding process in the coming months and have the official call launched before the end of the year.so we are working hard on the settlement as well as on the rules of this modality”, explained López during an exclusive interview with Yogonet.
“We will shortly present the tender dossier for a public auctionand the information will be displayed openly on Comprar’s website, and at the same time we will have a Gaming Regulationswhich we will adapt and amend over time and we will see how this modality works in the province,” she added.
Asked about the characteristics of the tendering process, she pointed out that the province will offer “a minimum of two licenses and a maximum of seven, since according to a market study, this is the number that would be profitable for the operators”.
“The licenses will be valid for a period of 10 years, with the possibility of a one-year extension, and the operator will have to pay a one-time initial fee when obtaining the license, as well as monthly running costs. The operator should also pay taxes on gross gaming revenue of 12% of the GGR (Gross gaming revenue, or revenue minus profits paid out to players),” López said.
Regarding the characteristics of the bidding process, the regulator noted that “there will be no restrictions for participating companiessince they can apply alone or in UTE (Unión Transitoria de Empresas, comparable to a joint venture) with national and international operators, but there is a preference in favor of those who physically operate the gambling halls in the province at the time of the opening of the bidding process. We are still working on it, it is still being evaluated and we are analyzing what it will be and how it will be implemented, but this does not exclude companies that wish to enter the online gaming market and does not not operate physically”.
“As far as authorized games are concerned, we want to allow a wide range of possibilities, so, initially, casino games, sports betting, esports will be allowed… the only thing that cannot be operated are lottery gamesbecause of a specific exclusion we have in the law,” she added.
“What we are trying to do, with this proposal, is to regulate the offer that already exists, so that it can be played in a legal and responsible way, and that those who operate it pay taxes and generate economic contributions to the province. We understand that this is an extremely beneficial step for Mendoza, we want to take care of our people and avoid, for example, the participation of minors in this modality. This is what we aim for and, as I said, we hope to announce the bidding process soon in order to carry it out”concluded the regulator.