Local players wishing to wager at foreign online casinos in Argentina will have a hard time starting this week, following new regulations announced by the country’s Central Bank.
The instructions mandate the country’s card issuing financial institutions to “have the prior approval of the Central Bank to follow up operations abroad with the use of credit and debit cards issued in the country, when the aim of the consumption is, directly or indirectly through the use of international payment networks, participation in gambling and betting in different kinds.”
Although Argentinean gambling laws allow online gambling, this applies only to domestically licensed operators. ISPs have been obliged to block foreign sites since 2008 and apparently the government has now decided to go after the preferred payment methods used by local punters.
The move is motivated as much by the need to keep more of the gambling revenues at home, as by the Central Bank’s and the government’s monetary policy efforts, trying to curb foreign currency purchases by Argentineans.
The new restrictions apply not only to casinos and offshore online poker sites accessible from Argentina, but also to lotteries, sportsbooks and everything else that qualifies as gambling.