888 encounters Argentinian hassles

The Gibraltar-based 888.com-Cassava Enterprises online gambling group this week faces similar Argentinian legal problems to those already experienced by international firms Bwin and Victor Chandler in the South American country. The problem is the city of Buenos Aires, where the head of Attorney Office Number 4, Luis Duacastella Arbizu, is claiming infringment of anti-gambling laws 116 through 118 of the municipal Contraventional Code.

Reporting on the issue, the local news service Yogonet says that Arbizu has the backing of a municipal court ruling in requiring Cassava to block residents of Buenos Aires from its servers. Whether such a city ban can be enforced internationally is a matter of legal debate, but Arbizu has pressed forward with his banning initiative on websites 888.com and 888.com.ar anyway.

Arbizu has also ensured the local publication of the court's ruling in the media as well as in the official bulletin of CABA, giving the gambling company a 48-hour deadline.

Provincial regulators are empowered to grant individual licences in specific regions falling under their authority, which has enabled the Bwin and Victor Chandler groups to acquire licenses in Misiones province, but apparently not the populous capital city of Buenos Aires, where the companies have encountered previous legal problems leading to court actions and appeals last year that are still ongoing.

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