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Ricki Chavez Munoz reports on what’s happening in South America
As this early February edition is produced for publication during the London Show – 23-26 January, we’ll have new on ICE 2012 in our March edition. And thinking of March, this is the month when the first Latin American expo begins in Dominican Republic, the fourth edition of the Caribbean Gaming Show 2012.
As usual, we will be in London for ICE 2012, and able, ready and willing to be of service to our esteemed readers. And looks like we’ll have no snow this time, as the weather seems kind these days, and on 11 January, when we pen this message, we seem to have an early Spring with warm sunshine and blue skies, at least in these here Bournemouth Côte d’Azur, and yonder on the English Channel, we can see that the sky melts into a welcoming dreamboat blue sea. Wish you were here!
Elsewhere in our magazine we are publishing an item on the Conferencias Casino Compendium at FADJA 2012 [see page 24], during 11-12 April, as we shall be contributing with this event to bring to lovely Colombia some special speakers to debate some of the controversial points in the new government regulations and the creation of gaming regulators COLJUEGOS. Anyhow, before all this, we shall make the journey to Santo Domingo for CGS 2012 on March 21-22. See you there!
Miami business votes for resort casinos
Last month, the Board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce approved by a large majority endorsing state legislation to bring resort casinos to South Florida, especially Miami, known as the Capital City of Latin America. This support, however, insists that some of the gambling tax should be destined to local governments, and that casino operators should cover infrastructure costs.
Although the issue still divides residents, businessmen and politicians in Florida. Some see the gaming industry as bringing much needed employment and economic revival; others see unequal competition and social harm. Those in the construction industry naturally are in favour of the plan to bring three resort casinos to South Florida. The Miami Chamber, in adding its voice to those supporting destination gaming, is in opposition to the Florida Chamber of Commerce backed by Disney.
However, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce wants stricter regulations to be imposed on the gaming industry than those that would be provided under the present bill being considered by the State Legislature. It wants some casino taxes to go to local authorities and for racetracks and jai-alai frontons to pay the proposed 10% casino tax rate and not their present 35%. It also wants mandated county-wide voter approval for new casinos and local hiring of employees.
The construction of casinos in Miami has the backing of republican legislators and gaming groups, including Malayan giants, Genting, which has set aside US $3.8 billion to build an integrated entertainment resort in the land they purchased from The Miami Herald in Key Biscaine, in South Miami for US $235 million.
Genting’s project would create 100,000 jobs and contribute some US $600 million yearly to the State’s coffers in gambling tax. Genting’s casino would be the largest in the world with 8,500 slots and dozens of gambling tables, as well as 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 apartments and 50 bars and restaurants, convention centre, shopping mall and all the other sideshows that a major entertainment complex boasts.
Peru set to collect US $112M in gambling tax
In a press conference, Foreign Trade and tourism Minister, Jose Luis Silva, said that gambling tax revenue for 2012 would hit US $112 million, after changes to the regulations on real time online slots control, known by the local anagram SUCTR.
Silva said that for 2013, gambling tax would increase to US $150 million. SUCTR is the new administration system that will connect slot machines to a data centre run and controlled by Peru’s regulators at the Ministry MINCETUR and the local tax revenue collection agency SUNAT. The system will enable Peruvian regulators Dirección General de Juegos de Casino y Máquinas Tragamonedas at MINCETUR control, supervise and audit each slot machine and revenue generated from all licensed casinos and slot halls in the country.
At the time of going to press, SUCRT needed the country’s president’s signature to become law, after the Congress had approved legislation to implement the latest changes to SUCTR. Once the law becomes effective, Peru’s gambling operators will have six months to set up online control systems to process the information according to the law, which states that SUCTR related hardware and software should be updated every three years.
Furthermore, Congress confirmed legislation relating to implementation and connection costs for operators to bear the full brunt of the new changes to have slots connected 24/7. There are in excess of 70,000 slot machines in Peru in 688 slot halls and 12 full casinos.
Quito casino closes early
The casinos in Hotel Quito, in Ecuador’s capital city closed three months before the final dateline set by the government for gambling properties operating in a 5-star hotel. The Presidential Decree prohibiting casinos and slots operations in Ecuador has another 3 months to run, after a national plebiscite endorsed a presidential directive to end gambling in the South American country.
The casino, which is housed in a Social Security owned building, was opened in 2005, and casino workers have asked local authorities to ensure that the casino owners comply with all wages and severance pay. There is in excess of 5,000 casino employees jobless in the country owing to the closure of gambling businesses, and promises made by the government for new employment have not materialized.
BMM awarded licence by Peru’s MINCETUR
BMM Compliance has achieved another significant milestone with the official authorization by Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo (MINCETUR) to evaluate and issue statements of compliance for gaming systems that meet the qualifications of the United On Line Control System - SUCTR.
MINCETUR has a goal of having all of the approximately 70,000 gaming devices operating in more than 650 gaming halls interconnected with the regulatory agency. BMM’s clients have been anxiously waiting for this recognition in order for their systems to be tested, certified and homologated to provide this service.
BMM’s General Manager for Peru, Joaquin Gonzalez, says “BMM is completely committed to the Peruvian market with its qualified test lab established in Lima. BMM sees the Peru location as a hub for servicing both South American regulators and manufacturers. With ten labs in nine countries, BMM has strategically located its testing facilities and offices to best service the global gaming industry because we understand the local needs of our clients.”
CGS 2012 – “The Greatest Gaming Show in the Caribbean”
The fourth edition on the Caribbean Gaming Show 2012 is set to take place at the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino, during 21-22 March, located in the center of the tourist district of the Dominican Republic capital city, with numerous casinos and slots operations, capital facing the Caribbean.
From Miami, CGS Group LLB, organizers of CGS 2012, has confirmed that its brand new production and marketing team for the Caribbean show is busy to ensure a great show this year. Elizabeth Leiva GS Group CEO said: “Both exhibitors and visitors will benefit from the addition of Carmen Valverde in marketing and Peter Stephen in production to the experienced CGS team.”
The Dominican Republic with more than 60 casinos, the Casinos Association has announced its support for the show, and the newborn Caribbean Gaming Association will sponsor the event, which covers Trade Show, Round Tables, Conferences, International Press, Operators, Vendors, Regulators, and lots of fun and entertainment, in a country that has it all! For this and much more, The Caribbean Gaming Show is called “The Greatest Gaming Show in the Caribbean”.
Elizabeth Leiva, adds: “After all these years developing the Caribbean market, this gaming show is going to hit in all islands and countries of the region. More and more companies are now joining our Show, which this year is moving to a better location in the heart of Santo Domingo city. A 5-star hotel will receive all suppliers and buyers from more than 24 countries, who are looking to expend 2 days of business and relaxation.”