Martin Guzman, the Argentinian minister of finance, has just announced that his 2021 budget will include a federal taxation of all online gambling at 5%, raising it significantly from the 2% it was previously at. This increase is raised still further to 10% for This comes as an attempt to fill the hole in the Argentinian budget after a disastrous 2020 having hit their economy hard, with an economic depression likely coming in the new year also in the international horse race betting.
With the Argentinian gambling sector at an estimated $2.4billion this seems like an obvious move, but unfortunately a large proportion of this business is illegitimate, with unregulated bookmakers being a huge issue in the country.
As such with this new tax policy widespread reforms are planned. Up until now in Argentina gambling regulation has been a local issue, with each province being left to regulate their own jurisdictions. This has been largely ineffective, and so with the increase in taxation comes federal control of all cambling in the country.
The hope for all this is that with centralised control Argentina will be able to collect taxes on this huge part of their economy.
It has however, been met with some resistance. The Association of Argentina’s State Lotteries (ALEA) in particular has been vocal in their opposition to the new measures. They claim that the centralised control will do nothing to help reduce illicit gambling centres, while increasing taxes will actually drive more argentina’s betting sites underground.
They point to the 240,000 Argentinians currently employed in the industry that are currently working legally and paying taxes, who will no longer be doing so if forced to the black market, as an example of how the country’s revenue will actually suffer as a result of this policy.
Furthermore, they argue that the central government exercising these controls is actively unconstitutional, and directly threatens the provinces rights. Constitutional or otherwise though, these reforms are set to be put into motion, with there being little the ALEA or others seem to be able to do to stop them.
As for their financial success, only time and the new year will be able to tell.