Latin America begins 2019 in good form and, as we report below, the dynamic activity of Gaming in the region maintains its momentum with upcoming tenders for operations land-based and online in Chile and Argentina. Also, we’ll follow and report on the development of sports betting regulations in Brazil.
We are due to travel to Lima, Peru, on the second week of this month to follow up Internet gaming legislation progress. While there we hope to have some quality time on the beautiful beaches south of Lima in the summer season, enjoying deliciouscevichesand tiraditos well sprinkled with refreshing Cuzqueña beer and chased by robust Pisco sours.
Not for too long though, as we must return for the beginning of the gaming events season at Totally Gaming ICE in the first week of February, where our Casino International and Casino Compendium teams will warmly welcome each and every one of you to our London Show booths. See you all there!
CHILE – SCJ restarts licensing process for casino in Natales
Chile’s gaming regulators. Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego(SCJ) has issued Resolution N° 809, which formally declares open the process of granting an operation permit for a casino licence in Natales, a community in the Antartic Chilean Region, in the southernmost part of the country.
This new process for the casino license in Natales has been approved because the first process that ended in June 2018 did not have any bidders. At that time, the minimum guaranteed economic offer was *U.F.14,000 annually, and this offer has now been reduced to *U.F.13,000 annually (US $516.100).
As part of the technical elements in the tender there are some special conditions that set out the minimum basis in the tender rules for the casino licence in Natales community. This includes “the percentage of employees working at present for the current concessionaire that will continue to provide services is 80%;” and that, “conditions of expansion in building construction in tourist infrastructure include embellishment of green areas in the Natales community with a minimum cost of U.F. 1.000.”
Interested parties in the Natales market are asked to download the technical bases and application forms, which will be available until May 3, 2019 on the SCJ website www.scj.gob.cl/otorgamiento or to collect paperwork from SCJ offices in Santiago.
Companies must submit their proposals and the required documentation at the public presentation of technical offers to be held on Monday, May 6 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the Hotel Gran Palace, Orphans Street 1178, Santiago.
At the official hearing of the presentation of technical offers, the SCJ will verify that all documentation complies with the new tender requirements. A representative of the Consejo Resolutivoat SCJ will secure all economic offers submitted until their official hearing and opening of economic offers according to the tender process.
*UF – Chile’s Unidad de Fomento is equivalent to 27,565.79 pesos (US$39,70)
Buenos Aires gets ready for online gaming tender process
Reports from Buenos Aires are ripe with news on the forthcoming tender of seven online gaming operating licences. Provincial governor María Eugenia Vidal is said to be planning opening the tender process in the first quarter of 2019.
The Buenos Aires province government is preparing tender documentation for the beginning of February and sending tender project files for confirmation by supervisory bodies including the Government General Consultancy, Public Accounts, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, before the formal call to tender.
It is estimated that bidding for operation of seven online gaming licenses will be made public between March and April 2019. The government is seeking protection from public scrutiny from gambling opposition, such as the Church, through internal controls. Lately the Church asked for a separate debate to discuss the issue of provincial online gaming.
Online betting sites will be able to operate taking bets on virtual casinos, horse racing, football games and other sports, with a broad range of possibilities in games for forecasting the result. However, it is believed that there will be some restrictions on local Argentina soccer, where bets would only be allowed on First Division professional matches.
Companies licenced to operate in this sector will have to pay about a quarter of their turnover in tax, which is made up of 15% of gross gaming revenue, 8% for specific levy on the activity, and 2% as operating fee. Foreign companies wishing to participate in tenders and operations must be associated with a local firm.
PERU – Government approves selective tax to casinos and slots
Well-hidden amongst other legal changes published in the official newspaper El Peruano, last Sunday 30thDecember at 04.31.40 hours, the Peruvian executive put signature in the dead of night the executive order to impose Impuesto Selectivo al Consumo (ISC) – selective consumers tax – on slot machines and casinos, confirming approval of DS n° 055-99-EF, of last November, which was totally repudiated by the gaming sector in Peru.
The document indicates that the law will apply to casino tables and slot machines that are in operation, which is to say that that in any month where at least one bet is placed in a slots machine or a gaming table regardless of the outcome of the game played ISC will be applicable. In other words, ISC is paid by players, win or loss. That brutally simple!
Being close to going into production of this issue, it can be said that year 2019 begins badly for the gaming sector in Peru, which for more than ten years has been a paragon in the application of regulations in the gaming industry. We’ll report more expansively in editorial our sister magazine Casino International Americano.
As explained, ISC will be applied from January 01, to each casino gaming table, according to the average monthly net income level of where the property is located, and in the case of slots, the ISC is to be applied to each machine.
In the meantime, as congressman Miguel Torres said, when opposing the imposition of ISC to slots and casinos, “with this measure the Government has created a new tax, changing badly the meaning of the law. The tax is not being imposed on anything in use so, if ISC is approved, expect an avalanche of Habeas Corpus legal actions from gaming operators affected by this.”
Between 1996 and 2006 Peru was swamped by Habeas Corpus litigation owing to badly legislated taxation on casinos with infimal tax revenue from this activity. Since then, intelligent regulations have enabled the country to benefit from gaming tax revenues that will exceed US$100 million in 2018. Congressman Torres’s warning augurs badly for Peru’s economy.
NOVOMATIC Experience event takes place in Buenos Aires
NOVOMATIC Argentina invited its customers to the Crystal Bar at Alvear Icon Hotel on December 6 for the NOVOMATIC Experience Event. The local NOVOMATIC AG subsidiary presented a range of new products for the market in a social atmosphere, with a few treats in store and a very special guest.
Overlooking the famous Puerto Madero Waterfront in Buenos Aires, NOVOMATIC invited casino operators from around Argentina to the exclusive event and celebrated a positive year together. With a live saxophone player, a DJ, an experiential art show and a fine selection of Argentinean wines, guests could get hands-on with the latest NOVOMATIC products in a relaxed environment.
Representatives from NOVOMATIC engaged operators with a new selection of games, multi-game mixes and cabinets. Voodoo Fortunes was introduced to the market on the PANTHERA Curve 1.43, connected to the Enchanted Fortunes Linked Jackpot. Its sister cabinet PANTHERA 2.27 was also on show, next to the V.I.P. Lounge Curve 1.43. Standout titles like Viking & Dragon received great feedback, as well as themes on game mixes such as NOVO LINE Interactive Edition X and Impera Line HD Edition 6.
After familiarising themselves with the latest product range, guests were treated to a discussion with the former Argentinean football player and TV personality Oscar Ruggeri who told stories about the World Cup and Copa America finals, in relation to teamwork within a casino. The evening was topped off with a prize draw that saw one lucky guest receive an all-inclusive trip to ICE 2019 and be part of the full-scale NOVOMATIC Experience in London.
Max Bauer, NOVOMATIC regional CFO, Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “The exquisite execution of the NOVOMATIC Experience is the product of a very cohesive team who brought the main decision makers to the event. Our office in Argentina is steadily growing the presence of the NOVOMATIC brand in the country and this event confirms a year of constant efforts to improve the performance of our products while providing top quality after-sales support.”
Fabian Grous, NOVOMATIC Argentina Managing Director, said: “The NOVOMATIC Experience Event in Argentina was a great success and we are very proud of the results. It was a very pleasant evening and the ideal space to thank our customers for their trust. The NOVOMATIC footprint continues to expand throughout the country and our new games are in many cases top performers. We look forward to extending our hospitality to our customers in February at ICE 2019.”