Online Sports Betting Moves Ahead in Argentina’s Neuquen Province


Posted on: January 29, 2021, 02:19h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2021, 03:17h.

Argentina’s Casino Magic online sportsbook will launch within a few months in the nation’s Neuquen Province. The sportsbook will likely go live in Neuquen during the first four months of 2021.

Like in the US, Argentina regulates sports betting regionally
Argentinian forward Lionel Messi runs up to take a penalty shot during a match between Brazil and Argentina in 2019. Soccer is very popular in Argentina, and at least one province will soon see online sports betting. (Image: Fayez Nureldine /AFP via Getty Images)

Eventually, the company wants to expand into other regions in Latin America. Eduardo Nanton, general manager of Casino Magic, revealed in a recent statement that the company has “ambitious plans.” But he did not go into details.

Kambi Group will provide technology and services to Casino Magic over several years for the sports betting initiative.

“It is a partnership with real promise, as we aim to realize the potential of regulated sports betting in Argentina,” Kristian Nylen, CEO of the Kambi Group, said in a statement.

Like in the US, Argentina regulates sports betting regionally. In the Latin American country, betting is overseen by provincial governments.

In Neuquen Province, Casino Magic and Kambi worked on tailoring the technology “to satisfy the compliance requirements” in the region’s regulated market, Nylen said.

Growth Potential Seen in Argentinian Online Gaming

As of September, the total gambling market in Argentina was estimated to be worth $415 million, Gaming Innovation Group said last year. Just 7 percent of the total market is from online operations, so there is significant growth potential in the online gaming sector, the company predicted in September.

Specifically, in the city of Buenos Aires, tax revenue from the physical casinos collapsed when faced with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials hope that through online gaming, they will be able to bring in around US $5 million in tax revenue per year, Mark P. Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told Casino.org in September.

“This is not a huge amount. But given the economic crisis facing Argentina, every little bit helps,” Jones said last year.

Online Gaming Taxes More Than Double

Late last year, Argentina’s national government approved a higher tax rate for online gaming. Taxes on online gaming jumped from 2 to 5 percent, according to a report from SBC Americas, a Latin American news organization.

Other Latin American countries may also expand into online gaming. Those nations would make a decision based on gaming and revenue projections, Jones said.

Betting on US baseball began expanding in the region. In July, Costa Rican sportsbook Betcris secured a multi-year deal to become an official wagering partner for Major League Baseball in Latin America.

It marks the first such agreement for MLB in a market that’s critically important for the sport.

As far as Argentina, soccer, known locally as football, or futbol in Spanish, is popular, according to April Yoder, an associate professor of history at the University of New Haven.

“It’s their most popular sport and a lot of the best players end up in the big European leagues,” Yoder told Casino.org.