Latino America

Hoping that you all had a splendid Christmas season, we are getting ready for the New Year, and right now we wish that 2015 will be a marvellous year for you all. Because what is true is that the gaming expo season kicks off with the wonderful London Show, at the ExCel Expo Centre on February 2-5. Clarion Events, organisers of Totally Gaming ICE, has announced the launch of The London Casino Club, a high profile hospitality and out of hours networking programme developed in conjunction with the National Casino Forum, offering a wide range of compelling hospitality offers including an American-themed Super Bowl party at the G Casino in Piccadilly, a Champagne reception and free-to-attend poker tournament at Aspers Casino in Westfield, Stratford, a few minutes from ExCel, and also a complimentary shuttle service from ExCel, free drink and casino tour courtesy of the Hippodrome in Leicester Square. At ICE, global industry leaders like Novomatic, Aristocrat, Ainsworth, Merkur Gaming, Konami, Bally, IGT, Cammegh, EGT, DLV, MEI, Casino Technology, SIQ, Copag, Ortiz Gaming, egaming, MGA Group, Fournier, WMS, Zitro, and many more will showcase many of the varyious aspects of the future of Gaming for international markets and specialized segments. NOVOMATIC has sent a special message to ICE visitors who, “will discover live the latest NOVOMATIC innovations and are well advised to give in to their curiosity and head straight for the NOVOMATIC booth where they will be heartily welcomed and greeted with the famous Austrian hospitality”. Also, as well as NOVOMATIC, gaming’s global leaders – also previewed in this issue – will have an extensive presence at this year’s event, where we also will be welcoming Latin American and other guests at the London Show in February. See you there! Cheers, Ricki. MEXICO – New law promises to professionalize casinos With the approval of Federal legislation for casinos and betting by Mexico’s House of Representatives, the country takes up for the first time the possibility of becoming one of the most dynamic gaming markets in the Latin American region. The promise that new casino legislation, which has now to be debated by the Senate, is that approval will contain elements to convert the current slot machine gaming parlours into real casinos with Las Vegas-style gambling, including live poker and Black Jack among other table games. However, Mexico always has promised much in this industry but has given very little to operators doing business fully within the law, in contrast to those who have used and abused discretionary gaming regulations engendered by the administration of former President Fox in 2004 to regulate the current and outdated 1947 Federal Gaming and Betting Law. The new law promises to create a level playing field for all for the benefit of the country. Mexico’s gaming industry shows revenue at levels of US$8 billion annually. According to the regulators at the Ministry of the Interior (Gobernacion), there are 313 casinos in the country and the adoption of new gaming legislation would generate investment in new entertainment centres with casinos of billions of dollars, and the professionalization of the industry. ARGENTINA – “El Cóndor de los Andes” still flying high in Mendoza Carlos Bianchinelli, President of the Provincial Institute of Gaming and Casinos (IPJyC) of Mendoza, has permitted the Intercontinental Hotel and Casino, “Condor de los Andes” to continue operations after KLP Emprendimientos, owner of the property, filed for pre-bankruptcy process a few days before Christmas. Bianchinelli made reference to the 5775 Law, which enabled casino operations in the Argentinean province in 5-star hotels, and specifically to 225 Decree of 2001, indicating that, “there would be no technical or legal impediment to enabling the 5-star hotel to keep operating the casino.” Filing into the local “Chapter 11” judicial process, KLP Emprendimientos showed total debt at US$ 47.3 million, including around US$3.5 million of tax owed to the Mendoza tax administration, who had threatened the hotel filing for a bankruptcy process. However, the provincial government has no desire to make the Intercontinental hotel bankrupt, not only because it would mean the loss of 350 jobs, which would have had many families in jeopardy before Christmas, but also for the kudos that an Intercontinental hotel means for Mendoza, as a luxury brand with all the trappings of high living. COLOMBIA – Coljuegos reports failure by 178 slots operators Coljuegos reported before Christmas, it was starting a penalty process to discipline 178 Type B operators who did not comply with transmissions on December 2 testing online data transmission to the Coljuegos server of at least one of their electronic slot machines (MET). Type B operators had registered by August 1, 2014, 50% or more of their MET inventory located in municipalities with populations less than or equal to 100 thousand inhabitants. As part of the Coljuegos schedule, on December 2 type B operators had to show evidence of online data transmission to Coljuegos of at least one of the machines that will be connected by 4 May 2015 as part of Resolution 1400 of 2014, which regulates the implementation of the online connection and report system for the MET. Coljuegos reported that online data transmission was successfully completed by 41% of type B operators, and has started a disciplinary process for breach of contract to 178 operators who did not comply with the transmission on the scheduled date. However, Coljuegos has also stated that failure “to comply (as stated) can be remedied once the operator performs the transmission test through a registered system provider for online connection of MET, who is certified by one of the laboratories endorsed by Coljuegos. The next landmark date on the timeline is on 3 February 2015 for online data transmission of at least one MET for the type A operators, who registered by August 1, 2014 MET inventory of 50% or more located in municipalities with population over 100,000 inhabitants. BOLIVIA – Gaming Authority destroys 1,412 illegal slots Bolivia’s gaming regulators, Autoridad de Fiscalización y Control Social del Juego (AJ), announced the destruction of 1,412 illegal gambling machines which were confiscated in Santa Cruz and La Paz, major cities of Bolivia. AJ’s Executive Director, Mario Cazon Morales, said that the destruction of the machines are part of the first stage in the process to destroy all illegal gambling machines that have been confiscated by the gaming authority since the beginning of AJ’s administration in 2011 to date, totalling more than 11,000 illegal slots. Cazon Mirales also said that the machines that were destroyed have followed due administrative disciplinary processes, adding that the gaming entity intends to conclude with the destruction of all confiscated illegal gambling machines in the cities of Santa Cruz, La Paz and Cochabamba, during the first part of 2015. Cazón, added: “During the days when the illegal machines were destroyed we followed the proper process to separate different components of the machines as a form of protection of the environment and mother earth, such as electronic components, wood, plastic, etc., so that harmful elements are stored in containers for them to go through a recycling process.“