Gambling industry stakeholders in Argentina and elsewhere are considering the implications of last weekend’s Primary Elections in the country, which may have dealt a serious blow to plans for the launch of a national regulated online gambling sector.
The Primary Elections are a precursor to the General Elections, which are due to be held on October 27 this year, but they produced a bad result for President Mauricio Macri and his PRO party. Macri, who has been struggling politically, earned just 32 percent of the votes, while his most significant rival, Alberto Fernandez, the leader of the socialist Frente de Todos coalition, enjoyed a major victory, picking up an impressive 48 percent of the primary vote.
Macri’s poor showing in the election led to another bad week economically as the Peso declined nearly a quarter in value against the US dollar, while the stock market in Argentina fell by 40 percent, registering the second-largest market decline of any country since 1950.
The bad news for the PRO party extended to the capital Buenos Aires, where Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal lost by 52-34 percent to Axel Kicillof of the Justicialist Party. Vidal is a leading advocate for the proposed online gambling regime, and her loss potentially signals disaster for those betting companies hoping to capitalise on changes to the Argentina gambling market.
Gambling corporation Codere SA saw its share price drop by nearly eleven percent by the end of thw week, and a number of gambling companies, including those who have applied to the Argentine Provinces Board for Lotteries and Casinos (IPLyC) for one of seven new Buenos Aires online gambling permits, will be watching political developments closely over the next two months, and hoping that Macri and Vidal can turn things around before the end of October.