Argentina’s Cordoba Province Faces Legal Challenge Over Online Casino Initiative

Posted on: June 23, 2022, 5:40 a.m.

Last update: June 23, 2022, 05:40 a.m.

Cordoba is one of many provinces in Argentina that has already launched a legal online gambling initiative. However, pressure is mounting to reverse the decision, with a number of local leaders trying to block the measure.

Square and Cathedral of San Martín in Cordoba, Argentina
Square and Cathedral of San Martín in Cordoba, Argentina. The province is experiencing resistance to its plans to introduce legalized online gambling. (Image: Shutterstock)

The province of Córdoba has attempted to follow in the footsteps of the city and province of Buenos Aires by introducing online gambling. However, he continues to encounter obstacles. Now, in the middle of the bidding process, a group of opponents want to overturn what the government has already approved.

The Cordoba legislature approved online gambling laws in December last year. However, he has faced endless controversies since then.

Opposition denounces legal gambling

Last Tuesday, 11 members of the opposition party presented the provincial government of Córdoba with an effort to block the introduction of online gambling in this city. They are all representatives of several parties who had already expressed their rejection of the provincial law. What is unclear, however, is whether their position is politically motivated.

Individuals have asked the Municipality of Cordoba and the Lottery of Cordoba to report on the scope of the regulations. In addition, they want a conciliation hearing and ask the leaders of the municipality to respond to their demands before the courts.

Politicians claim that Cordoba Mayor Martín Llaryora and Provincial Governor Juan Schiaretti are “imposing” online gambling on the city’s residents. They also believe that the government is taking advantage of a gray area regarding the legality of online gambling.

The purpose of this declaratory action of certainty is to put an end to the lack of certainty regarding the application of Law 10,793 (online games) regulated by Decree 460/2022 within the framework of the city of Cordoba and to declare its inapplicability in this domain“says a press release from members of the opposition party in Córdoba.

Likewise, in their message, politicians want a quick resolution. Cordoba is currently accepting offers from operators and will begin choosing applicants between August 5 and August 19. As a result, advisers need the hearing to take place “as a matter of urgency”.

Call for tenders already underway

In May, the Cordoba Lottery opened the national and international public tender. It will grant up to 10 licenses for the organization and operation of online casinos throughout the region.

Initially, the submission of offers had to be done before July 5th. After that, the province would announce the winners by July 19.

However, the entity then extended the deadline earlier this week. All interested operators must submit their documents before August 5th. Thereafter, by August 19, the Cordoba Lottery will reveal offers that meet its guidelines.

On September 2, the Lottery will reveal the candidates it has chosen to operate. There will then be a two-week period during which he will receive any challenges to his decision. Finally, by October 18, the entity will issue concessions to licensed operators.

A handful of licenses

The Cordoba Lottery will initially grant up to 10 licenses for the organization and operation of online casinos. Eventually, no less than 20 licenses will be available. In addition, all operators will have to maintain a local headquarters in the province.

The new law, which took effect in May after receiving overwhelming legislative support, regulates all virtual games and creates an online gambling license registry. The latter is a collaborative effort with the Argentine authorities in the detection and eradication of illegal gambling. It also makes it easier to prosecute fraud and criminal activity related to illegal gambling.

The rule also establishes subjective prohibitions of access for minors, persons who appear in the register of delinquent maintenance debtors, shareholders or owners of gaming licenses.