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CR75-p22-S&C-America:SJC-Casino Review 20/12/08 21:24 Page 1
The Marina del Sol casino in Talcahauno in the Biobío region,
south of the Chilean capital Santiago, opened on 13 November.
It is the third and largest in the region to be opened under the
new gaming legislation. With 50 gaming tables, 800 slot
machines, 330 bingo seats, a bar and restaurant, the venue
represents an investment of more than US$110m (E81.3m).
With the re-opening
Chance for
of the Hotel Casino
New President Fernando
Lugo has not yet broken
Acaray in the east of
the legal deadlock over casinos in
gaming in Paraguay
Paraguay, the focus Mexico
has turned on casino
gaming as a way to
encourage MEXICO
investment, tourism
Parliamentarians in Mexico
and regeneration:
have joined those wanting to
however, political
legalise casinos in the
transition, despite
country. The Gaming and Lot-
teries Subcommittee of the
being peaceful, has Chamber of Deputies has
seen complications
proposed legislation that
would allow full gaming oper-
ations to be set up under con-
ditions that include measures
to prevent money laundering
and fines of up to MP$3m
(E165,000) for any infractions.
The draft legislation was
presented before Christmas,
the subcommittee chairman
Armando García Méndez
said, allowing it to be con-
sidered in plenary early in
2009 and perhaps even
Foreign investment pushes
voted on by April.
In order to meet the sensi-
bilities of strong Catholic
opposition to gaming, García
Paraguayan industry
said that the bill proposes the
express prohibition of slot
parlours near schools, family
entertainment centres and
churches, unlike the current
heartofamerica Internacional Luis Relanze tute (IPS), to Azar Internacional region, provided the local and his “lame duck” period without arrangement. Operators will
PARAGUAY said: “We are aiming to add for a period of ten years, with national authorities support giving a reason. be forced to comply or lose
new value to the old Casino the option to extend for these investments.” The inauguration in August their businesses, he said.
Hotel Casino Acaray, for many Hotel Acaray, which for a long another ten. It is not a blank cheque, of former Catholic bishop Fer- Under the bill, casinos
years one of the leading enter- time formed part of an infra- Minister Crámer com- however. In June, the then nando Lugo as president, the would be regulated by a new
tainment venues in Ciudad del structure that was a great mented: “This undertaking Paraguayan president Nicanor first socialist for 70 years and body, the Gaming and Lotter-
Este, Paraguay’s second city, re- advert for this region. We are amounts to much more than Dante Frutos halted the devel- the first ever to be freely ies Committee, which would
opened in early November endeavouring to restore its the creation of new prospects opment of casinos in the elected, has not yet resulted in have wide powers covering
under new management. former splendour and beauty to attract investors, it is a reaf- Cordillera and Misiones the deadlock being broken. not only money laundering
The refurbished venue is with all the technology and firmation of the time-honoured provinces in the south of the The right of Conajzar to have but also financial aspects of
now operated by Argentinean modern features required by reality that tourism has great country, whose licences were decided on certain gaming operations and the action on
company Azar Internacional, customers today.” potential to create jobs.” awarded in December 2007 to licences is currently being con- gambling addiction.
and represents an investment The hotel was built origi- She continued: “If we have Azar Internacional and to tested in the courts; following The legislation would also
of US$3m (E2.2m). The launch nally in 1965 but declined over quality hotels, it means that Casinos Paraguayos respec- the transition of power, most outlaw gaming machines in
event was attended by Vice the years. The decision to allow people will come and spend tively - both companies are of the political appointees to street locations, providing
President of Paraguay, Federico foreign investment was contro- money. The re-opening of the effectively part of the same the commission, representa- heavy penalties for those
Franco, and the minister for versial from the start and was Hotel Casino Acaray, more than group, being led by business- tives from government min- breaking the law.
tourism, Liz Crámer, along with taken at the highest level. The the recovery of a historic land- man Ernesto Antonio Seoane. istries, resigned, leaving it Taxation of casinos under
other officials both national licence was awarded three mark of the city, is an important President Frutos overturned without the full complement the new law would be heavy,
and local. years ago by the owner of the milestone in the development the decision of the gaming com- required to carry out its legal with an additional require-
Executive director of Azar hotel, the Social Security Insti- of tourism in the Alto Paraná mission (“Conajzar”) during functions. ment for licence holders to
finance local social projects
as well as treatment for gam-
bling addicts.
Iconic venue for new Caribbean casino
He said: “Fines would be
from MP$200,000 (E11,000)
to MP$3m (E165,000) or
sunfun limit slot salon for VIPs with a shell, Concha, that houses the complete closure if there
PUERTO RICO private cage window and a bar Perla restaurant. have been previous
stocked with wine, champagne The new 1,400sqm-casino is offences. The current sanc-
The iconic La Concha Hotel in and hors d’oeuvres. expecting to trade in on the tions are ridiculous with a
San Juan, the capital of the US La Concha is a classic Tropi- international reputation of its maximum of MP$10,000
protectorate of Puerto Rico, cal Modernist hotel from the host resort but also to generate a (about E550), so anyone will
now has a new attraction, the late 1950s that underwent an significant business among local dare to break the law.”
Casino Del Mar, which opened extensive $220m (E162.5m) residents, as much as 40 per cent, García wants the new reg-
in November. refurbishment a couple of years which will also set it apart from ulations for the operation of
The casino is open 24 hours a ago and reopened in 2007. It is other casinos on the island. gaming venues to be reliable
day, seven days a week and offers one of Puerto Rico’s cultural The casino represents an and transparent and to
19 table games and 410 slot landmarks, especially for the investment of $18m (E13.3m)
The Tropical Modernist Hotel
La Concha, home to Casino del Mar
become a model for other
machines. There is also a high- feature that gives it its name, the and has created 160 jobs. countries.
22 January 2009 • south&centralamericanews
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