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Argentina Online Casinos

ArgentinaAs one of the largest nations in South America, Argentina often takes a prominent role in international affairs, especially when it comes to regional questions. With a popular of more than 43 million and a fairly robust economy, the country is a desirable market for a host of different industries – gaming certainly among them.

There is plenty of betting to be done in this nation, from its numerous casinos to horse racing and legal bookmakers. In fact, gambling is so popular here that it constitutes a multi-billion dollar industry. That extends into the online world, where there is some limited licensing available in some parts of the country, with overseas operators filling in the gaps.

Gaming Industry Widespread

When people think of nations that are known for gambling, a few names usually stand out: China (specifically, Macau), the United States (especially in Las Vegas), or Monaco (because of Monte Carlo). Not as many would put Argentina in that category, but that’s something of a mistake, as the nation has one of the most highly developed gaming industries in the world.

Let’s start with the number of casinos you’ll find throughout the nation. Depending on how you classify them, there are more than 100 casinos in the country, ranging from clubs with an assortment of slot machines to hotels that offer gaming, full-scale resorts, and shipboard operations that operate out of several major cities. Depending on the source, it is said that Argentinians spend as much as $4 billion or more each year on gambling, and online casinos in Argentina are certainly a major factor in making that possible.

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One of the more prominent examples of bricks and mortar establishments in the country is the Casino Central, located in Mar del Plata. Established in 1939, the seaside resort features 140 tables and more than 600 slot machines, and is especially popular during the summer tourism season (which takes place during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, making it an attractive destination for many North American and European tourists).

But there is much more than just casino gaming in Argentina. Even those who don’t follow sports at all know well that this nation is mad about football (soccer), and it’s only natural that more than a few of those fans would want to place a bet or two each time the national team – or their local club – takes the pitch. Betting shops are common throughout the country, and they have been since the 1990s, when many of the major European bookmakers set up shop.

Horse racing is another popular pastime here, with several major tracks being spread out across the country. If you’re looking to watch race action live, you might want to check out the Hipodromo Argentino, located in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Established in 1876, it is now the home of the Gran Premio Nacional, the biggest race in the nation. Lotteries are also popular among Argentinians, with a number of different games being offered in the nation. There are standard drawings, instant scratch off tickets, and even a sports lottery available.

Mixed Feelings About Online Play

Argentina’s federal and provincial governments have taken steps towards opening up the country’s online gambling market, but there have also been times when they have sought to keep the industry under wraps, leading to a confusing set of laws and licensing systems.

There have never been any federal regulations for Internet gaming, but the provinces have at various times allowed some companies to be licensed to operate in the country. In 2002, the first licensed sites started to offer services here, but the federal government put a stop to any further licensing in 2008.

The provincial laws are still in effect, however. This has led to a situation where only players in some provinces are able to play on licensed sites based on where they are regulated. Various provinces have agreements with others to allow cross-border play. But not only have few sites been licensed in this manner, but many operators are wary of entering the market, given the uncertainty as to the future here.

At times, however, there are still signs of progress. In late 2015, for instance, the province of Misiones launched a state-sponsored Internet gaming site that offers casino games and sports betting to players who live there. It’s a small step, but one that could help some gamblers here find a site where they feel comfortable playing.

With all the confusion regarding regulation, it comes as little surprise that there are plenty of foreign firms willing to step in and offer their games here. The federal government has been unsuccessful in any attempts to block these sites from operating: laws have been passed in an attempt to stop them, but these bans have been ineffective, and many major firms still operate here today. Some even offer play in Argentinian pesos. Some of the popular and trustworthy software developers who provide games to this market include:

  • Microgaming
  • Realtime Gaming
  • Betsoft
  • Netent
  • Evolution Gaming
  • Playtech

Industry Hopes for Clarity

There’s no real danger of pushback on the land-based gambling market in Argentina, so it remains unlikely that anything will change there. However, there is certainly the possibility – and many would say the need – for some clarification in how the country deals with Internet gaming.

Over the past few years, there have been calls for a national regulator that could oversee the myriad of provincial laws currently on the books here, with getting a better handle on the online market being a top priority. But as of now, at least, there seems to be little progress being made in this area, and it remains unclear just how committed the federal government is to pushing for regulatory reform.

This uncertainty makes it difficult to predict what will happen here, even in the relatively near-term future. At any time, there could be a serious move towards legislation that would provide a federal framework for such sites, but it’s also possible that Argentina could see their online industry develop similarly to that of the United States, with differing regulations popping up in various states. Only time will tell which of these paths legislators and regulators in the country will choose.

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