Latin America News Update

PARAGUAY – CONAJZAR approved tender for second casino in Asunción

Paraguay’s regulators, National Commission of Gaming (CONAJZAR) has announced it will call for a tender for the operation of a second casino in Asunción, the country’s capital city.

Javier Balbuena, CONAJZAR president, said that the organization has expanded the portfolio “to the prospect of growing investments in the tourist and hospitality sector in the capital of the country”. Balbuena also said that the tender proposal will require investment in hotel and tourism infrastructure, as well as advance on the payment of gambling dues for electronic machines in casinos, which will have online control management systems and certification.

Previously CONAJZAR had approved tenders for casinos in the Central, Alto Paraná and Amambay provinces, due to the interest of the private sector in investing in several cities in the South American country. Balbuena, confirmed that CONAJZAR has taken into account that interest by the business sector to make “important investments in the city of Asunción and the exploitation of casinos”.

MEXICO – 25 new casinos will open soon

With hundreds of casino permits granted by the Ministry of the Interior (Segob), as a consequence of Regulation in 2004 to the Federal gaming law dated from 1947, many privileged beneficiaries of the regulatory largesse to open gambling businesses didn’t do so then through lack of knowledge, investment and preparation.

Now, as new casino legislation looms on the horizon, Mexican legislators are aware of the political favour evident in 2004 and have said that unused permits will be forfeit when the new gambling law becomes effective. This has triggered reaction by the owners of those permits, who have indicated the opening of up to 25 gambling saloons or casinos, with a reported US$15 million investment.

What this means is that each casino would have an average investment of US$ 600K. According to statements released by Terra Mexico: “the President of the Association of Gaming Permit Holders, and Suppliers (APPJS), Alfonso Pérez Lizaur, reported that several businessmen in the sector will open 25 new casinos in Mexico, with an investment of 15 million dollars”.

Furthermore, “the permit holder Palacio de los Numeros, Oscar Paredes, explained that the opening of these new casinos is due to the urgency of businessmen who do not wish to lose their existing permits by the arrival of the new federal gambling law”.

MERKUR GAMING appoints Charles Hiten as new managing director

As the new managing director for Merkur Gaming Americas, Charles Hiten has been appointed managing director for Merkur Gaming Americas,  for the sales activities of the Gauselmann Group for North, Central and South America.

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Following the sudden and much too early passing of Jens Halle, the company is focusing on continuity within its international business. In his new position at Merkur Gaming, Charles Hiten will continue with the process begun by Jens Halle of further consolidating and expanding sales activities in America.

“With Charles Hiten, we have gained a former colleague and close friend of Jens Halle for this important key position on the American continent. He is an acknowledged expert in the industry and will enrich Merkur Gaming with his wealth of knowledge and experience”, says Jürgen Stühmeyer, Sales Director for the Gauselmann Group. “I’m convinced that Charles Hiten will successfully continue our company strategy in the American market.”

In the course of his more than 15 years in the gaming industry, Charles Hiten has already held a range of important positions in international companies. Most recently, he was in charge at Novomatic AG of the investment strategy for the Chilean market. As managing director for Merkur Gaming Americas, Charles Hiten will head the business activities in North and South America from his office in Florida. Furthermore, he will as well manage activities for the Caribbean market and for the Cruise Line business area.

“The collaboration with Merkur Gaming and the resulting potential are a promising opportunity both for me, as well as for our customers and business partners. Together, we want to continue on the path that Jens Halle began, namely of positioning Merkur Gaming as the most important provider in the Americas region”, Charles Hiten concludes.

ARGENTINA – IAFAS continues social campaign

With the presence of the president of IAFAS, Dr. José O. Spinelli, a ceremony was held at the old plant in Paraná, Entre Ríos province, in which credits were given to 53 young professionals and 286 credits to small businesses as part of the social economy programme of this Argentine province.

Firstly, the Financial Aid to Social Action Institute – IAFAS, the body that operates, manages and oversees gaming in Entre Rios province, granted loans with a total investment by the local government of more than US$ 71,000) from IAFAS funds.

Secondly and also with funds transferred by IAFAS, the local gambling regulators in the province, 286 small businesses were favoured with business credits covered, by the “Program of Access and Funding through Credits from Social Economy”, for sums in excess of US$ 93,000. During the first half of 2015, IAFAS has already transferred more than US$2.4 million for support of social programmes.