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SOUTH AMERICA


Argentina recorded its most severe economic contraction in 16 years in the three months ending June, when the economy shrank 19.1 per cent compared with 2019


ARGENTINA LEGISLATION Online Gaming Tax Increase Proposed


A new initiative put forward by the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, will increase tax on online and mobile gambling from two per cent to five per cent


Colombia - Continent 8 expands in LatAM Continent 8 Technologies has announced a strategic expansion into the Latin American market, beginning with the launch of the company’s cloud solution in Colombia this month. The Colombian platform, connected to the ISP’s Backbone Global Network, is based in Bogotá’s free trade zone. Offering a fully regionalised product, Continent 8’s Colombian entity will be able to conduct business with local customers in Colombian Pesos.


Continent 8 already operates clouds in Atlantic City, Isle of Man, Montreal, Taiwan, Dublin and Malta. Further expansion in LatAm will follow in Argentina and Uruguay. Continent 8 have a strong regional LatAm based team including General Manager, Gabriel Szlaifsztein, and led by Americas Managing Director, Nick Nally. The multi-lingual team include fluency in Spanish among their skillsets.


Gabriel Szlaifsztein said: “This is a very exciting, strategically significant step for Continent 8, and great news for the iGaming sector in Latin America. As a globally respected iGaming supplier, we have a proven track record of supporting businesses ranging from start-ups to major corporations at every stage of their development. But we are far more than a technology provider because we have such a wealth of knowledge, experience, and industry contacts that we can also act as advisers and introducers to key players in the industry.”


Colombia - Evolution enters Colombian market Evolution has launched its Live Casino games portfolio in the newly regulated Colombian online gaming market. Evolution is the first Live Casino supplier to launch Live Casino games in Colombia. Its full Live Casino portfolio, including its extensive range of casino classics, game show-style games and Spanish-speaking tables, are available to players at Zamba.co. Zamba is a joint venture between Vicca Group and GAMING1.


Vicca Group CEO Rodrigo Afanador commented: “Following major regulatory reforms in the Colombian gaming market, we are now ideally positioned to lead the way in online services, while also leveraging our long-established leading position in the land-based casino market. In Evolution we have another international online casino gaming partner and, of course, access to a fantastic range of world-class solutions with which to further enhance our core suite of online products and services from GAMING1.”


Johan Nordstrom, Chief Executive Officer Malta and Chief Commercial Officer at Evolution, added: “We are delighted to have entered the Colombian market with Zamba at what is an exciting time. We are confident that our world-class games portfolio is the perfect fit to add to Zamba’s offering.”


P8 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


A new initiative put forward by the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, will increase tax on online and mobile gambling from two per cent to tive per cent. Te National Communications Agency will be responsible for creating a registry of licensed online gambling sites. According to the new plans, 95 per cent of the amount collected by the government through this tax will be shared with the provinces, and five per cent will finance Argentine government-owned telecommunications.


Te initiative was one of the 40 modifications implemented in the Budget Committee of the Chamber of Deputies. Te new tax is designed to help pay some of the country’s deficit. As a way to garner more support for the initiative the additional tax revenue will be shared between the provinces. Te tax increases to 10 per cent if a company is based in a jurisdiction that offers foreign individuals and businesses little or no tax liability (tax haven).


However, the additional tax could be considered unconstitutional and will probably face opposition in the courts. In 2018, Judge Lavié


Pico questioned Law 27,346, which created a ‘specific tax on the making of bets,’ and then President Mauricio Macri’s decree 179/17, which raised the rate of income tax for the sector from 35 to 41.5 per cent. Te judge argued that the rise in tax to 41.5 per cent ‘appears as confiscation, thus violating the constitutional right of property.’ Te new tax will undoubtedly face a similar challenge in the courts if it is approved.


Interactive gambling is regulated at a provincial level and there is currently no federal gambling legislation when it comes to online gambling. However a number of Argentine provinces are looking at new regulations to allow for online gambling. Eight provinces now all allow it. Te vast majority of Argentines gamble online via offshore betting sites.


Te budget contains a number of new measures designed to appease the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Te government is hoping to renegotiate repayments on a US$44-billion loan from the IMF in 2018. Te IMF will start talks with the government on a new rescue package in mid-November.


Mexico


Panama Panama's casino sector allowed to reopen


Panama’s casinos will be allowed to reopen following a decree from the National Government on October 12, limiting them to 50 per cent capacity. Casinos must provide workers with safety equipment, including masks and hand sanitiser, and will have to adhere to the reopening biosafety guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.


Te Minister of Culture, Carlos Aguilar Navarro, said: “We are ensuring that Panamanians can enjoy all the activities of the country's cultural agenda, keeping the health and biosafety measures in the fight against the virus COVID-19.


“Teamwork has been very important, through the authorities of the Ministry of Health, the


Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, the Ministry of Culture and government and civil society organisations, which have exchanged information important to make correct decisions based on scientific evidence and economic indicators.”


Sánchez Ortega, the Head of Panama’s gaming authority, JCJ, said the industry employs over 10,000 people and has spent over US$1m adding security measures to make their venues safe. As well as the placement of physical barriers separating each machine and ensuring two metres of distance between them, casinos will test the temperature of guests and deploy extra cleaning and disinfect slot machines each time a guest makes a seat vacant.


Te latest online casino to incorporate Zitro’s games in Latin America is Mustang Money, one of the most successful gaming platforms operating in the Mexican market through its site www.mustangmoney.mx.


“We have incorporated into Mustang Money Zitro’s video slot and video bingo games, which are already known and popular among players in the land-based casinos in Mexico, with the conviction that they will arouse the same interest among users of our digital casino. We are very pleased with the addition of the new game content on our platform,” said Marketing Director Bernie Gamboa.


“We would like to thank the Mustang Money team for the quick and easy integration of our content into their online gaming offering. We have created a solid working relationship founded on trust, which, we are sure, will be very beneficial for both parties and for the players,” added Sebastián Salat, CEO of Zitro.


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