Latino America

It’s just a few weeks before the largest and most important expo in Latin America, SAGSE Buenos Aires 2012 (Nov 13,14,15), and as always we feel that certain sweet feeling as a preamble to visiting this great country. As always also, Giorgio Gennari, president of Monografie, organizers of the event, places his company at the forefront of the industry and this year is sponsor of the Avant-Premiere of the movie Lo que usted siempre quiso saber sobre el juego en Argentina (Everything you always wanted to know about Gaming in Argentina) directed by Miguel Rodriguez Arias.
From Buenos Aires, Monografie has sent invitations to directors and industry executives to attend the premiere showing of this new documentary on Tuesday, November 6 at 7:30 pm at Lorca cinema on 1428 Ave. Corrientes, Buenos Aires. There is no charge to industry guests but those interested must be registered previously and this can be done by emailing: See you all in Buenos Aires!


Mexico legalises slot machines
Dated 17th October 2012, Mexican President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa has signed a Decree to reform and amend various articles of the Federal Gaming Law. With the Secretary of State, Alejandro Alfonso Poire Romero, together they have legalised in practice the operation of slot machines in venues with licences from the Gaming Regulator, a department of the State Office (the Segob), to operate remote betting and lotteries.

In his executive capacity the President’s administration has tried to bring a certain order to an industry still attempting to struggle free of the constraints imposed by ex-President Vicente Fox and the ex-Secretary of State Santiago Creel. They introduced a gaming regulation in 2004, added to the existing Gaming Law of 1947, authorising the operation of multiple gaming rooms by a handful of companies.

Since then casinos have been established in Mexico with licences from the Segob, licences from third parties, fixed licences and false licences. While some operators comply with the 1947 Law others operate gambling under the discretion of the Segob, allowing for elasticity or separation from the Law either directly or indirectly. In effect the 2004 regulation discriminated in favour of groups in power and had not the intelligence to modernise the old Law either in the emission of licences or in the control of the authorised operations.

Now the Mexican administration that finishes its term in a few weeks has virtually legalised slot machines but has not had the courage to go a step further to regulate table games that include card games like Blackjack, Baccarat or Poker, and Roulette, prohibited under the 1947 law. The Presidential Decree has clarified what slot machines are, but has complicated matters with the exclusion – as slot machines – of betting terminals or other machines for sports betting or lotteries, unless they are authorised by the Segob and identified as such in the casinos or slots operations.

Chile’s Enjoy negotiates investment in casino Hotel Company
Towards the end of October Chile’s premier hotel casino operator Enjoy advised the local Securities and Exchange Commission of its intention to buy a 45% shareholding of an unnamed Latin American hotel-casino company for US$310 million. Enjoy’s formal notice of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the proposed seller caused some trepidation in the local SE where Enjoy’s titles dropped on Thursday 25.

The cause of the market loss by Enjoy was due to news of financing the proposed acquisition with a new capital issue of 75,000 million pesos, some US$157 million, although there was no further news about the mechanics of the operation owing to a non-disclosure agreement.

Enjoy has called an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting with a view to increase the company’s share capital for November 12. The company’s half year report had revenue at US$150 million for 2012, an increase of 18% on the previous year’s equivalent period.

US$70 million Hotel and Casino Project
The Turks and Caicos government has signed a memorandum of understanding with developer Circle Holdings Ltd on a planned US$70 million hotel, casino and marina project, the government announced Sunday. The project will be a low-density, high-end hotel, with a residential component, a marina and a retail and entertainment complex. It will be located on the site of the former Third Turtle Inn on the north shore of Providenciales.

The Government has, in accordance with its published Investment Policy, concluded that the Development is ‘A’ ranked, due to its proposed 300-400 direct jobs and anticipated revenues of around $9 million per year, as well as its social benefits. The project will spearhead a new type of development around Turtle Cove offering a public promenade along the marina featuring a casino, boutique, and restaurants. The marina intends to rival the best in the region and to put Providenciales back on the map for top yachting and fishing enthusiasts.

Circle recently acquired the 17-acre site out of receivership. It has 775 feet of frontage on the Third Turtle beach, with 1,300 feet of marina frontage. The site, with spectacular ocean views, was originally the location of the Third Turtle Inn. The Inn has been closed since 1989. Circle Holdings now has until 31 Dec 2013 to apply for Outline Planning Permission for the construction of the Development, with the Development being completed within 40 months of obtaining the Detailed Development Permission.

“This announcement confirms what the governor and I have been saying for a number of months now – the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands is a great place for business,” said Acting Governor Patrick Boyle, who signed the memorandum on Friday. “It is terrific news that someone with such a proven track record right here in the TCI wishes to combine forces with seasoned real estate investors and bring his knowledge and experience to a new development. Growing the economy here is a balance between established businesses investing and reinvesting and attracting overseas investment.”

“I am very excited about this project, no less by the unequivocal support it has received from all quadrants of the society, particularly from neighbours and business owners at Turtle Cove, and from the TCI government,” said Vasco Borges, managing partner of the project, who has resided and worked in real estate development and hospitality in the Turks & Caicos Islands since 2005. “When one walks the site, it is evident why the first developers on Providenciales chose the Third Turtle beach as their home. It is unique in combining a half-moon white powder beach with marina facilities. We will now take the necessary time to design a property that best conserves and enhances nature’s beauty, and is well within the existing height and density restrictions”.
Buenos Aires advances slots online gaming control
Following on Governor Daniel Scioli’s plans to consolidate Buenos Aires Province’s control on all provincial slots, Cabinet Chief Alberto Perez met the president of Banco Provincia, Santiago Montoya, to discuss the project to finally control all provincial slots and betting with an online system managed by the Province.

At present control of all Buenos Aires Province slots is done by local firm Boldt with costs for the service paid by the Province at the rate of between US$59-76 million yearly. As the contract has been renewed over the past few years, this service was up for an international tender when Buenos Aires Governor Scioli decided to cancel the tender through a byelaw.

Montoya said: “This process will enable the Province to recover the strategic business resources steadily providing more efficiency in the management and control of gaming and betting online, which is at present handled by the private sector. We have projected considerable administrational savings by year 2013”.

If the provincial control of the Buenos Aires slots comes into being Montoya will be in control of 4.400 lottery terminals through a system that will enable agency sales up to 10 minutes before each lottery is drawn. On the matter of the international tender, Boldt and US based Gtech Corporation have lodged a Habeas Corpus injunction with the local magistrates against the Buenos Aires Province government for costs incurred in the tender cancelled by governor Scioli.