BUSINESS

Argie lotteries circle wagons; Brazil sports bet plan; Mexican banks crack down

TAGs: argentina, Brazil, mexico

mexico-argentina-brazilArgentina’s 23-member state lottery association, the Asociación de Loterías, Quinielas y Casinos Estatales (ALEA), is increasingly concerned over the threat posed to their members’ business by online gambling. The ALEA wants to establish a working group to determine the impact of international online gambling sites and to establish a regulatory framework to prevent unauthorized operators from serving Argentine punters. Only five of the country’s provinces – Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Rio Negro and Tucumán – have lottery operations with an online presence. El Diario Del Juego quoted Loteria Nacional (LNSE) rep Noelia Longo reiterating his operation’s desire to protect its national monopoly on online sports betting. Longo also cited previous legal actions against Bwin.com, eldiegobingo.com, towertorneos.com and miljugadas.com as proof of the LNSE’s resolve to preserve that monopoly.

Caixa Econômica Federal, the bank that runs Brazil‘s national lottery, is seeking help in broadening its offering to new products, including sports betting. Caixa is on the hunt for a consultant to help it determine new distribution channels for its lottery products and to come up with a plan “for the launch and operation of sports betting,” according to the terms of a request for proposal (RFP) viewed by GamblingCompliance. Caixa began selling lottery tickets online in 2011, and is hoping to include sports betting in their online mix, in part to capitalize on the fact that Brazil is set to host the World Cup in 2014. The Brazilian government would have to sign off on such a plan, as horserace betting and live tournament poker games are currently the country’s only other legal forms of gambling besides the lottery.

In Mexico, the government is meeting with local banks to devise new means of cracking down on unlicensed online gambling operators. Mexico’s Interior Ministry published a notice on its website detailing the need “to analyze preventative measures in the area of [unlicensed] internet gaming and betting.” Chief among these measures will be “strengthening [banks] capabilities” in choking off unauthorized debit and credit card transactions. Licensed land-based casino operators are allowed to offer online betting under a 2004 decree, and companies like Playtech and Probability have signed deals with Grupo Caliente to offer online sports bets. Bwin struck a similar deal with another land-based operator but ultimately chose to shut down its Mexican-facing website last December, citing restrictions on the games it could offer and the nation’s limited online payment infrastructure.

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