Online Gambling in Argentina a Contentious Issue

Published Saturday, August 01, 2009 -

No football, is the worst case scenario in any country that loves the sport. This is especially true when it comes to those who want to put bets down on the outcome of the games. If there is no game there is no wagering how bad can that be? Well in Argentina that scene may become a reality. Boca and the other teams may not start the Argentinean Apertura season on 14 August as planned. The Apertura which is the second half of the 2009 domestic tournament, has been suspended by the Argentinean FA, not just a game or two but the entire league, until a solution to money problems plaguing clubs is found.

The reasoning behind such a move is based on the outstanding fees owed to the club players. After the first half of the football tournament, the Clausura, was over, Agremiados, acting on behalf of the players, demanded the outstanding sums be paid out. The Argentinean Football Association believes it has undersold television rights, and is working on reaching " a convenient and intelligent negotiation" in order to secure extra TV revenue for clubs.

Internet gambling and gambling in general has also become a big issue in Argentina. Gambling laws in Argentina are not federally controlled. Each province has it's own set of rules and regulations, which is becoming a source of tension among those jurisdictions, mostly because with the advent of online wagering territories are becoming harder to regulate. Most of the local websites offering online betting are owned and operated by offshore companies and therefore income from wagering does not remain in the country.

The president of the AFA, Julio Grondona, is using football as a spring board to push his demands for a piece of the gambling pie for the players and clubs. The Argentinean government has acknowledged that "no one wants football to stop". It is likely though that the game will go on as usual but only after Grondona and the gambling legislators provide the people of Argentina with a good show of back and forth as they argue the merits of a new gambling structure.

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