- Poker, roulette, slots and similar games are “absolutely prohibited” through any external remote channels
- A new tax on gambling revenue for state-owned operator also forms part of the new legislation
Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez has reportedly signed the country’s new gambling bill into law, a bill that essentially bans all offshore online gambling websites from operating in the South American country.
New Accountability Law
The wait for Uruguay’s updated rules on the countries gambling activities is finally over. The previous law dated back 120 years, unsurprisingly leaving a number of holes and grey areas that operators have reportedly used to their advantage in order to offer their services.
However, the new Accountability Law stamps out online poker and casino activities completely for external operators, whilst also allowing the government to “adopt various preventive and sanctioning measures to prevent the proliferation of online gambling.”
In the new bill, lawmakers suggested measures such as the prohibition of commercial communications, sponsorship and advertising of unauthorised games as well as more traditional methods as blocking access to websites that break the rules of the new bill.
As mentioned above, the new bill gives Uruguay’s La Banca de Quinielas, which holds the monopoly on the country’s online casino and sports betting activities, a sole market share.
However, this comes at a price and the state-owned operator will have to pay 0.75% tax on all gambling turnover made through its approved casinos, gaming halls, racetracks, sports betting shops and any other related operations.
Senate votes in favour
Just last week the Uruguayan state senate voted 30-6 in favour of the Accountability law, which houses the gambling legislation.
The signs were there that the bill would be passed sooner rather than later after the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance had reportedly mentioned prohibiting online gambling rather than legalising and regulating it, earlier in the year.
It is believed that after National Party deputy Jorge Gandini had reacted to Uruguayan top-flight football side Nacional emblazoning GVC Holdings Sportingbet logo on their football shirts, momentum in the country gained for the new gambling bill.
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