We spent about three weeks in Lima, Buenos Aires and Rio, where we participated in significant regional industry events, including SAGSE 2013. We will be reporting about these events more broadly in the next edition of Casino International Americano, with a series entitled “Brazil Focus” in future editions of both magazines.
We went through everything in Peru, Argentina and Brazil, from a special recognition of our work at the Lima event; through some special treatment dealt by criminal taxi drivers in Buenos Aires; and the high costs in Barra de Tijuca, West of Rio, which placed this city as one of most expensive in the world. World Cup 2014 anyone? Easily up to US$500 per day!
Now, however, it is time to wish you all a very happy Christmas and all the very best in 2014, for each one of you and your families.
CHILE – New casino licensing process in 2014
The decision by Chile’s gaming regulator Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ) to accept the resignation to the casino licence by Casino Termas de Chillán S.A., in the southern city of Pinto, awarded in July 2006, has set in motion a new casino licensing process to begin in 2014.
The Consejo Resolutivo is the collegiate body at SCJ exercising the exclusive powers to grant and revoke operating permits and its decision means that the SCJ must start a new operation permit granting process in the first quarter of 2014. Although the revoked licence was for Pinto city, this does not mean that the new licence will be for that city as it must be available on a national basis.
Chile’s Casino Law No. 19.995 points out that the location for the casino licence is selected by private investors. The law also establishes restrictions for each one of Chile’s regions to a maximum of three casinos per region with a minimum distance of at least 45 miles (70 km.) from the nearest licensed casino, regardless of the region in which this is located. Chile’s Metropolitan region, where Santiago the country’s capital is located has no casino licence provisions and is excluded from any gaming licensing process.
According to law No. 19.995, there is provision for 25 casinos to operate on a national basis, excluding any in the northern city of Arica, which according to law No. 19.669 of year 2000 allows the authorization of an unlimited number of casinos in the frontier border with Peru.
In Chile there are currently 23 Casino in operation with 16 of them authorized by the SCJ beginning in 2006, and a casino in Ovalle city authorized early in the year which will open in 2014. Additionally, there are 7 Municipal casinos under previous legislation which must come up for tender in 2015, and until then, the new tender to open in 2014.
PANAMA – Sun International closes on US$45.5 million deal
South African gaming giant Sun International and Newland International Properties, the developer of Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, Panama, have announced the closing of a US$45.5 million deal that will bring a world-renowned casino to Panama. The partnership is slated to introduce superior entertainment and an ultimate guest experience unique in Latin America.
Sun International now owns three floors of the tallest building in Panama on a freehold basis. Final construction and fitting on this addition to the hotel is expected to begin next month and the casino to open in June next year. Finalisation of the deal was triggered by Sun International receiving casino operating approval from the authorities and a 20-year licence.
Encompassing 75,000 square feet, the casino will occupy the second level of the hotel. It will include 32 gaming tables for blackjack, poker, roulette and baccarat, along with a superior collection of 600 slot machines showcasing numerous diversions for both the amateur and experienced gamer. Additionally, a fine-dining restaurant and extensive bar and lounge will offer guests the finest of dining and drinking experiences.
On the 65th and 66th level of the hotel, Sun International will present the Salon Privé, a separate gambling space reserved for VIP guests. Here, the highest clientele will find private suites and an exclusive restaurant and lounge only accessible to guests on these floors. Sun International plans to invest a total of $60 million to build-out and fully develop the multiple spaces.
“We’re thrilled to embark on our second venture in Latin America,” said John Fraser, Commercial Manager from Sun International. “Latin America has become an area of focus for Sun International as we have applied for a casino license in Cartagena, Colombia and we are also looking to enter Uruguay and Peru.”
URUGUAY – Enjoy ups the ante by US$20 million at the Conrad
Without a doubt, one of the hits of the south Atlantic summer 2014 will be the opening of the new casino Conrad. “It is a proposal that is very different from the previous one, both from an architectural point of view – which includes a huge terrace overlooking the Mansa – and in relation to the addition of the latest technologies for our gaming room”, said Juan Eduardo García, the new CEO of Conrad Hotel & Casino in Punta del Este, in Uruguay.
At the presentation of the new casino in the second week of November, there was everything from speeches by personalities and politicians, fireworks, a multi storey cake, and a show by Ringo Starr, former drummer of The Beatles, the most famous band in the world, at a cocktail party for a few hundred chosen guests.
The investment of US$20 million in new areas of entertainment and gaming at the Conrad by its new owners, Chilean group Enjoy, has created high expectations for the upcoming summer season. In statements to the local media, García said: “The tourists are going to find a more elegant, modern and spacious casino”.
In its new version, the brand new casino features a technological restaurant bar and a night club in the Las Vegas style with 24/7 operations. The refurbishment of the property includes a large terrace with view over La Mansa, and according to Garcia, the opening of the new casino of the Conrad is going to be “one of the summer hits”.
And as the new style is actually Las Vegas, the Uruguayan resort also has the Shopping Oh! La Barra – the first Mall in the area, designed by the Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott. The complex has commercial premises opened up to the heavens and integrated into the landscape, along with a huge parking lot; and already envisages a second stage development with the construction of a 50-room boutique hotel.
COLOMBIA – FADJA moves forward with Colombian gaming industry
The sixteenth edition of the most representative gaming show of the region will take place on April 23 and 24 2014 in the Great Room of Corferias in Bogota, with the exhibition of the latest in products for gaming halls, casinos, bingos and lotteries, integrating offer and demand in all lines of an industry in expansion. AGI Gaming Colombia is a Platinum Sponsor at FADJA 2014 and also has a very large exhibition area.
The National Government’s position to regulate the sector and implement interconnection moves the operator market to prepare themselves to define their ONLINE systems, waiting for COLJUEGOS’ decisions to set up the system that will break into two localised gaming in Colombia. In this sense, FADJA 2014 is preparing a Business Round which leads the permanent betting sector in which the presence of Colombian, Venezuelan and Peruvian companies is confirmed. A first exploratory incursion in the last version of the Andean Gaming Trade show led Super Astro and Su Red to be the Sponsors of next year’s event.
The Colombian Federation of Gaming Businessmen, FECEAZAR, will hold during the trade show the II National Congress of Compliance Officers, with the participation of COLJUEGOS. FECOLJUEGOS and CONNAZAR will bring active participation in the training workshops and conferences, gathering their union members to the new version of a tradeshow that summons large, middle sized and small operators to find all the facilities and options to develop their economic activity.
Leading brands such as WMS Gaming, Bally, SHFL, Casino Technology, Lintek, Automated Transactions, DRGT, Crane Payment, Zuum, Axes Network, G-Tech, Spielo International, Asap, Boss Gaming, Blue Five, Dip Diseño, Odrex, Golden Race, Super Logros, Kupidon, Alfastreet, Mundo Video, Casino Stereo, Super Tek and MexVSR have already reserved and confirmed their spaces in the Great Room.
A month before the pre-sales of the tradeshow close, the organization reports 60% of the areas sold and offer until December 30 a 10% discount in available stands at the most important fairground in Colombia.