Martín García Santillán, LOTBA: “There is a long way to go”

During SBC Summit Latin America 2023, the SBC Media team interviewed Martín García Santillán , president of the Buenos Aires City Lottery (LOTBA), to find out how the market has developed so far. 

Taking into account that both the City and Province of Buenos Aires regulated their online and sports betting markets, they are the most populated regions in Argentina and have regulated their markets during the pandemic, SBC investigated the growth and development that Lotba has been experiencing.

García Santillán in the talk revealed that during the pandemic not only has the official online sports betting sector grown, but there has also been a proliferation of unlicensed sites that offer their gaming services in the Argentine jurisdiction. 

“With regulation – this normal that ensures safe, legal, transparent gambling, that prevents gambling addiction – we identified a growth in illegal gambling and it is something that alarms us today in Buenos Aires and throughout Argentina,” he said.

For this reason, he highlighted that “awareness” is the biggest challenge that LOTBA has to work on in the coming semesters, in order to provide the population with access to elaborate information about legal gambling and safe gambling. One of the campaigns that the Buenos Aires regulator is carrying out is “Know How to Play.”

In this sense, he emphasised that illegal gambling is the focus of attention of the entire industry, as seen in the debates at events such as those of SBC , so raising awareness, especially among young people, about the differences in Participating in an illegal page and in an authorized one that contributes to the market is one of LOTBA’s highest objectives.

For García Santillán, this work is strengthened with a joint approach between the provincial and national governments, along with global responsible gaming associations. But it was highlighted that in Argentina there is no national regulation of gambling, so each province is doing its own work.