Is There Going to Be a Ban on Online Gambling in Argentina?

When you think of a country like Argentina, you probably don’t automatically think of restrictive policies against online gambling. While the United States has been viewed for several years as unjustly regulating the online gambling industry, the majority of other countries have not gained this same reputation. However, it seems that there is a chance that Argentina may be added to the list of countries that are trying to cut the online gambling industry off at its knees.

During the last weeks, a bill has been introduced in Argentina related to online gambling. The bill, which was introduced in Buenos Aires, has the goal of completely prohibiting all online gambling. Because the bill uses the term “gambling via remote connection,” it would prohibit not only gambling that takes place over the Internet, but also any gambling done over a cellphone or other mobile device.

So, what is Argentina’s motivation for introducing this kind of legislation into their country? According to Deputy Liliana Piani, who is the politician responsible for introducing this legislation, a complete ban over online gambling is a necessity for Argentina to have control over all of the gambling activities that take place in their country. While many would argue that regulation is a much more logical approach to the topic of online gambling, Piani feels that prohibition is necessary because the government is not currently doing enough to take care of the problems she feels this form of gambling can create.

Just like in the United States, there are plenty of opponents in Argentina to this legislation who are doing their best to make their voices heard. Similar to the opponents to the US prohibition of online gambling, opponents in Argentina feel that trying to prohibit this activity is not an efficient solution. Instead of completely banning it, they feel the government should focus on regulating it. If you look at other examples of government prohibition (such as alcohol in the US in the 1920), you will see that it creates an underground market with no regulations.

No Dice for Bodog

Because they are one of the largest companies and best known names in the world of online gambling, you might think that Bodog is immune to be negatively impacted by any legal proceedings. Unfortunately for Bodog, while they may have thought the same thing, a recent judgment against the company shows that they are just as susceptible to the law as anyone else.

In a recently ruling, Bodog was ordered to pay fifty million dollars to a company named 1st Technology LLC. The ruling was handed out in the District Court of Nevada, and given the fact that this was the ruling for the appeal that was filed by Bodog, it looks like Bodog is going to end up having to pay that hefty sum.

So, how did Bodog end up in a position where they were told to pay another company fifty million dollars? Well, this case began over a year ago in June of 2007. 1st Technology brought the suit against Bodog and claimed that Bodog was currently infringing on one of their patents. The claim was a result of the way that Bodog was distributing the software for their online gaming properties. I’m not sure if Bodog didn’t take this claim seriously or not, but they failed to show up in court for the original hearing. As a result, an automatic judgment was awarded against them. In addition to being told to pay $46.5 million dollars, both Bodog.com and Bodog.net were confiscated from Bodog. As you probably noticed, this is why Bodog launched themselves as the new brand of BodogLife.

In response to this ruling, Bodog filed their appeal with the District Court of Nevada. They claimed that they were not given legal notice, and also were not active enough in the US to infringe on the 1st Technology patent. However, as you know from the ruling, the District Court of Nevada did not agree with this appeal, and Bodog has now racked up an additional $3.5 million in fines and interest. 1st Technology has stated that they now have the “certainty we need to accelerate our seizure of any and all global assets to satisfy the judgment.”