The owner of a casino with slot machines, Compaa de Entretenimientos y Turismo (CET), has launched a legal appeal to halt the release of the tender for ten licenses for internet gaming. Since 2002, the operator has held a contract with Lotera de Córdoba that gives it the authority to be the only operator throughout the entire region outside of the capital, where gambling is not permitted.
The deal calls for the company’s activity to be expanded to include commercialisation: “by other means, such as the Internet” meaning that it should have a monopoly in the online space as well.
The Lottery, on the other hand, maintains that the city of Cordoba is not covered by the CET license and that it was not entitled to monopoly over anything “that did not exist at that time or was illegal.”
Soon after the pandemic began, CET submitted a request to run online gaming. The business suggested that it might have digital monopoly over online gambling, claiming that “the eventual exploitation of internet gambling by other parties unrelated to CET would constitute a violation of the exclusivity granted in the contract” given to the business by the government.
The company’s legal team filed an administrative lawsuit after the legislature started discussing internet gambling in 2021. The courts are now hearing this claim.
In May, regulations in the province of Cordoba were approved, allowing for the legalization of sports betting and internet casinos. Once the rules are released, bidding for at least ten licences will start if the CET legal request is denied. The Córdoba Lottery will be in charge of overseeing online gambling once it is operational, and both domestic and international businesses will be invited to participate in the tender. By October, the government hopes to make online gambling operational.
CET was first given a license to conduct business in 2004 and now operates 19 slot parlors in 17 locations across the province. In the province, the business runs over 3,500 slot machines. In a few of its locations, casinos run by Lotera de Córdoba are annexed.