Latino America

The principal item in this edition has to be related to SAGSE Buenos Aires 2012, which as reported, was satisfactory for most of the expo’s visitors and exhibitors. Certainly Latin America’s premier expo has enjoyed a larger number of visitors and expositors in the past, but what was in evidence this year was the quality of the visitors to the show.

From our part, we can only report that we enjoyed a happy show, where those in receipt of a copy of our sister magazine Casino International Americano were more than satisfied, not only for the sheer quality of our product but because our bumper issue, as added value to the title, contained a complementary mouse pad courtesy of SHFL that was greatly appreciated by one and all.

We also wish to thank the stand designer firm of Caesar Alberto Pereira for the splendid design of our Americano stand at SAGSE Buenos Aires, where our two Casino International titles featured as global leaders in English and Spanish language, respectively. Also the current Americano front cover, beautifully designed by global leaders NOVOMATIC, had that touch of chic Vogue magazine, as someone so generously commented.  

Now that we’ve had a great Thanksgiving holiday in the company of our US contributors, we are in the process of getting ready our magazines for 2013, which we hope is a wonderful year for you all. And without further ado, we wish to you, family and friends a Very Happy Christmas and a Terrific New Year!



SCJ issues invitation to investors for new casino permit in Chile

Chile’s Superintendencia de Casino de Juego (SCJ), has issued an official invitation to local and foreign investors to participate in the Casino Operation Permit Process 2013. As one of the most lucrative gaming markets in Latin America, Chile will attract many proposals for the last available casino operating licence this side of 2015, when 7 municipal casino concessions are due to come up for grabs.

“Proceso 2013” starts on January 02 and will run until July 31, when the Consejo Resolutivo at SCJ shall issue the corresponding permit to the winning project. Projects for integrated resorts are invited all but five of Chile’s 15 regions. The excluded regions are the Metropolitan Region, where Santiago is located, plus Valparaíso, Bío Bío and Los Lagos, which have already the 3 maximum casinos allocated per region, according to the Casino Law of 2005. Region XV is Arica region on the northern border with Peru, where a different legislation (No. 19.669 of year 2000) applies for any number of casinos to operate.

Additional information is stated in the SCJ Webpage, including the time frame for Proceso 2013. At present there are 24 casinos in operation in Chile, with 14 new ones after the 2005 casino legislation, which determines that casinos cannot be closer than 70 kilometres from each other, basically creating an “only casino in town” situation in each city.

Ricki Chavez-Muñoz, CEO of Greata Limited, experts in Latin American casinos said: “This is an incredible opportunity for any ambitious and serious casino company with a strategy for sensible growth in one of the most sought after gaming markets worldwide”.
Casinos and hotels for Paraguay

Casinos Paraguayos S.A., a company financed by Brazilian investors, has announced plans for the construction of a tourist complex in the city of Encarnacion. Plans include a luxury 4-star hotel, adjacent to Casino Carnaval, according to international guidelines and comfort on six floors featuring a sumptuous lobby bar with large mirrored walls, a concert room for 300 people, plus all the luxury services including Jacuzzi, solarium, gym, spa, and temperate swimming pool.

On another development, local authorities announced that investors based in Parana state, Brazil, Teixeira Holzmann y Festugato-Fujiwara-Medeiros, will present their project named “Maluí-Ypacaraí” for the total refurbishment of the ex-hotel casino San Benardino with an investment of US$20 million.

As part of the deal the investors have secured yearly gaming fees of US$8,000, which shall be adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index, which after the tenth year shall derive in increases of 10, 12 or 15,000 dollars every five years respectively. Essentially, the contract is for 30 years, renewable for another 13 years, if there is also an increase in investment.    

Enjoy buys Casino Conrad in Uruguay

Following an EGM, Chile’s leading hotel and casinos company, Enjoy, has entered into a contract to acquire a 45% controlling stock of Conrad Hotel & Casino in Punta del Este, on the Uruguay south Atlantic Riviera. Enjoy’s GM, Francisco Martinez, sent to the local SEC three letters of the company’s intention to buy the stock from Caesars Entertainment Inc., subsidiary, Baluma S.A., for around US$140 million.

As part of the deal, Caesars will acquire 10% of Enjoy with entitlement to place one director in the Enjoy board. Baluma owns the site where the Conrad is located in Uruguay’s prestigious destination and is the casino licence holder; and the price agreed also gives the Chilean operator preferential call and put options to acquire the remainder of the Baluma stock, “within the third and fifth years following the signature of the first agreement.”

According to the Enjoy board, the Conrad acquisition will be “financed in its totality from an increase in the Enjoy capital”, to be completed in the following weeks. Baluma has attracted high action players from Brazil and Argentina and reported net revenue at US$157 million for year 2011, with EBITDA at US$35.7 million for the same period.

WMS promotes Mariano Mariño

WMS recently announced that Mariano Mariño has been promoted to the position of Senior Director Sales, for Latin America. Since joining the company in 2000 as International Sales Manager and working out of the European office in Barcelona he has played a key role in the growth of WMS International working in Europe and South America. In 2007 Mariano relocated to his native country of Argentina where he has headed up sales for South America.

In his new role, Mariano will lead the sales team in the Latin American continent and Mexico to unite under one umbrella the 3 different teams covering the region. Mariano will report to Jon Lancaster, Executive Director International Sales.

Mr Lancaster commented, “Mariano has been an integral and loyal part of the WMS team since 2000 and has been a key contributor to the growth of WMS in the international markets. His professional leadership of the South American team since he moved there in 2007 has helped grow WMS into one of the leading suppliers in the region. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Mariano has been promoted to now head up all sales activity for South and Central America and Mexico. His knowledge of the markets, language skills and relationships with the customers will help further strengthen WMS’s already strong and growing position in the entire region and I am excited that he will be leading this team”.