Most relevant concepts of Sebastian Vivot (LOTBA) during interview for ‘G&M 1on1’ cycle

The recent conversation with Modernization and Technologies Manager of Buenos Aires City Lottery and member of the Computing Commission at ALEA (Argentine Lotteries body) left a series of essential points that the industry should know about different aspects of what will be the online gaming operation in that jurisdiction. In this article, you can access main answers of Vivot.

The viewing of this agile and enjoyable meeting with Vivot will allow gaming executives to have a very clear idea about the regulations and characteristics of the imminent online gaming market in CABA.
The viewing of this agile and enjoyable meeting with Vivot will allow gaming executives to have a very clear idea about the regulations and characteristics of the imminent online gaming market in CABA.

There is fewer time for the City of Buenos Aires (CABA) in Argentina to kick off the operation of iGaming and remote sports betting in its territory. The in-depth interview that Gaming and Media News made with Sebastian Vivot (LOTBA) offered a clear scene of how the activity will develop in the market, with local and international permitting companies. It is convenient to review the key points of this interview, which you can enjoy completely and free of charge at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj-SYLiHlcA.

ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE NATIONAL LOTTERY INTO LOTBA

LOTBA is a start-up. I feel it like it’s my project. The National Lottery was a very old, very large company, with some areas that were more professionalized than others, and with a lot of working culture, which LOTBA incorporated. Our management had the wisdom to listen and learn to keep the best of the National Lottery. I entered the Systems area in 2016, and saw it needed to be modernized in terms of new trends. The federalization of gaming had taken away a lot of competition from the National Lottery and, therefore, it had not grown in some aspects. There was so much to do. The first focus was the transfer of the structure to the City of Buenos Aires, a tough process personally and because of the huge load of work it involved, having to make decisions about human resources. But everything went well. Wise decisions were made. People who work at LOTBA today are happy.”

ABOUT THE COMPANIES THAT APPLIED TO OBTAIN A PERMIT

“Thirteen companies have presented so far, but some are more advanced than others in the race to receive permission to operate. Codere took the first step and approved its program for the implementation of the online gaming platform, with the application and execution plans. Then there is another company accelerating its processes, followed by a couple of companies that are outlining technical elements and correcting formal issues. We want them all to start in January 2021. Let us remember that, as indicated by the Buenos Aires Legislature, the market will only begin when there are at least three permits in a position to operate simultaneously, in order to avoid the temporary monopoly of a company that enters the market in advantageous conditions with respect to the rest of the permit holders.”

ON WHY THE OPERATING COMPANIES WILL BE PERMISSIONARIES AND NOT LICENSEES

“The Constitution of the City establishes that gambling is exploited in a monopolistic way by the State, with LOTBA as the operating and regulatory body. This implies that we cannot outsource the game as a license. Thus, the legal figure is a marketing and distribution permit. Therefore, they are not tenders. It is related to the role we assume: we are going to make sure that the ‘Online Gambling Agencies’ (the operators) comply with the regulations that we draw up. At the same time, as operators, we can make business decisions about iGaming. We will be allies of the operators so that they apply their knowledge of the private sphere in this public operation.”

ON THE RELATIONSHIP OF GAMING WITH THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

“We want the financial system and payment methods to incorporate this new online gambling proposal into their client portfolio. We know from the experience of other countries in this regard. It takes a lot for them to see gambling as a serious and regulated system, although it actually is. We have talked to everyone: brands, cards, banks, online payment systems. They have their own compliance procedures and take their own business decisions. Sometimes, gaming industry finds it difficult to communicate its work to those sectors that do not know a thing about it. If the financial system knew that gambling is much more regulated than finance itself, and that there are an enormous amount of controls, there would not be so many doubts about its participation. For now, in the City of Buenos Aires, we have Banco Ciudad, with its own electronic wallet.”

ON A MORE INTEGRATED AND RESPONSIBLE APPROACH TO GAMING

“We are at the forefront of responsible gaming, with a spectacular, very modern management. For LOTBA, responsible gaming has to do with all of our management. It is necessary to separate this subject from a mere question of problematic players, and assume that it is a general matter, of processes and procedures. For us, responsible gambling is safe gambling. When we are asked on how much funds we allocate to responsible gaming, we answer: ‘All of them.’ Everything we do is responsible gaming.”

ON MONEY LAUNDERING AND RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING

LOTBA is the only jurisdiction in Argentina in which the compliance officer before the FIU on money laundering is the president of the Lottery. We adopted the practice that exists in the world, where operator is directly responsible for money laundering matters, so that it is liable to us in terms of responsibility. Our regulation is very strong and strict in terms of controls for the prevention of money laundering, and the same goes for responsible gaming. We consider we have had a cutting edge management on the subject. For this reason, throughout three stages, operators must certify to us in their responsible gaming practices.”

ABOUT BETTING ADVERTISING

“There is a specific Board resolution (RESDI-2020-13-GCABA-LOTBA – Advertising Regime) that can be checked online: https://www.loteriadelaciudad.gob.ar/NormativaJuegoenLinea/documentacion/Resoluci%C3%B3n% 20Juego% 20en% 20L% C3% ADnea% 20-% 20RESDI-2020-13-GCABA-LOTBA% 20-% 20% 20R% C3% A9gimen% 20de% 20Publicidad.pdf. There are general principles to be respected for online gambling advertising, promotions and sponsorships (principles of identification, truthfulness, social responsibility, responsible gaming and protection of minors). Only non-traditional advertising), covert advertising and the association of a brand with a product to promote types of bets, be it a stadium, a sports team, and others, will be prohibited. In other words, the name of a company can be written on a soccer team jersey, but not information on a bonus or a promotion. The content must be socially responsible, understanding gaming as an entertainment activity, and protecting bettors against its potential risks. The dissemination will have to respect the child protection schedule. Nor will advertising be allowed on public spaces near schools or other places for minors. Logically, content that suggests that participating in certain online games will improve people’s physical or intellectual performance, or personal, social or professional success, cannot be included. But celebrities, athletes and other famous people are allowed to be included in advertisement, as long as they convey a clear message of responsible gaming in commercial communication. Neither can success or fame of these people be associated with their participation in betting.”