Online Casinos Face Legal Challenge in Argentine Province of Cordoba

Cordoba is one of several provinces in Argentina to have already set in motion a legal online gambling initiative. However, pressure is mounting to reverse the decision, with a number of local leaders trying to block the measure.

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

The province of Cordoba tried to follow in the footsteps of the city and the province of Buenos Aires by introducing online gambling. However, it continues to encounter obstacles. Now, in the middle of the tender bidding process, a group of opponents wants to reverse what the government already approved.

The Cordoba Legislature approved online gambling laws in December of last year. However, it has faced endless controversies since then.

Opposition Decries Legal Gambling

This past Tuesday, 11 opposition party members presented to Cordoba’s provincial government an effort to block the introduction of online gambling in this city. They are all representatives of several parties that had already expressed their rejection of the provincial law. What isn’t clear is if their position is politically-motivated.

The individuals called for the Municipality of Cordoba and the Lottery of Cordoba to give an account of the scope of the regulations. In addition, they want a conciliation hearing and request that the municipality’s leadership respond to their demands in court.

The politicians assert that Cordoba Mayor Martín Llaryora and Provincial Governor Juan Schiaretti are “imposing” online gambling on the residents of the city. They also feel the government is taking advantage of a grey 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 gambling) regulated by decree 460/2022 in the scope of the city of Cordoba and declare its inapplicability in this area,” said a press release by opposition party members in Cordoba.

Likewise, in their message, the politicians want resolution quickly. Cordoba is currently accepting bids from operators and will begin choosing candidates between August 5 and 19. As a result, the councilors need the hearing to take place “urgently.”

Tender Already Underway

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

Initially, the submission of tenders was to by July 5. After that, the province was going to announce the winners by July 19.

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

On September 2, the Lottery will reveal the candidates that it chose to operate. There will then be a two-week period in which it will receive any challenges to its decision. Finally, by October 18, the entity will issue concessions to approved operators.

A Fistful of Licenses

The Cordoba Lottery will initially grant up to 10 licenses for the organization and operation of online casinos. Eventually, as many as 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 a Registry of Online Gambling Licenses. The latter is an effort to collaborate with Argentine authorities in the detection and eradication of illegal gambling. It also facilitates the prosecution of fraud and criminal activity tied to illegal gambling.

The rule also establishes subjective prohibitions of access for minors, people who appear in the Registry of Delinquent Alimony Debtors, and shareholders or owners of gambling licenses.


Online Casinos Face Legal Challenge in Argentine Province of Cordoba