Gaming and financial authorities in Argentina have authorized a few rule changes that should make bettors and operators happy. They have relaxed anti-money laundering reporting guidelines, while approving the use of debit cards at land-based casinos.
Argentina’s gaming industry is going through a transformation. More online options are arriving, but the land-based segment needs to be updated as well. A couple of new initiatives hope to strengthen both segments while, at the same time, ensuring the country doesn’t run afoul of global financial reporting guidelines.
The Financial Information Unit (FIU) updated the financial amount of transactions that bookmakers must report to the agency. That will eventually help both land-based and online sports betting operators by reducing the amount of time spent reporting and providing greater flexibility to run promos and specials.
Also, certain land-based gaming facilities and casinos can now accept debit cards for the first time.
New Guidelines for Reporting Winnings
Resolution 50/2022 was published yesterday in Argentina’s Official Gazette. In it, the FIU updated the amounts of the transactions that the different regulated sectors must declare in order to comply with anti-money-laundering (AML) protocols.
The minimum increases from ARS$12.32 million (US$109,132) to ARS$26.3 million (US$232,970 million). Once a transaction reaches that threshold, documentation supporting the lawful origin of the funds will be required.
In addition, gaming operators must report to authorities “operations by bettors who collect prizes or changes in values or change of chips or equivalent” in amounts greater than ARS$300,000 (US$2,655). The operators have to submit the reports by the 15th of the month on transactions from the preceding month. Previously, the value was ARS$50,000 (US$422.65).
The levels aren’t too far off the standard. Just this year, federal lawmakers in the US received a bill to increase the slot machine reporting limit from $1,200 to $5,000.
Debit Cards Now Acceptable
The Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC, for its Spanish acronym), the gaming regulator in the province of Buenos Aires, enabled the use of debit cards in betting rooms throughout the province. It also approved the installation of digital payment terminals (referred to as “posnet” in Argentina).
The IPLyC terminated a resolution of 2016. This prohibited the use of electronic means of payment on casino gaming floors, bingo parlors, racetracks, lottery agents and equestrian agencies of the province. With it, the regulator authorized the use of cards as a form of payment at those locations.
Specifically, the text published by the authorities establishes “The obligation to use electronic means that allow transactions with bank debit cards (Posnet) in the authorized gaming rooms throughout the Province of Buenos Aires.” The objective of the measure is “the prevention of tax evasion and money laundering in gaming rooms.”
Likewise, the resolution clarifies that it seeks to avoid the diversion of economic benefits derived from social plans or programs through “more effective control” over gambling activity. This, the regulator asserts, will contribute to the prevention of gambling addiction.
Authorizing the use of debit cards is one thing; having it hold up against legislative scrutiny is another. The IPLyC has received a loud negative response from certain politicians, including Senator Andrés De Leo and Deputy Ombudsman of Buenos Aires Walter Martello. They are participating in an effort to have the approval reversed. As the regulator only made the change a few days ago, it’s going to be a long time before there is a final answer.
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