Latino America

Ricki Chavez-Munoz reports on what’s happening in South America.


We have been let a bit disconcerted after a World Cup that did not play too well for our Latin American teams. Truly the most memorable was the victory of Mexico against Germany, getting the Teutonic football machine out of synch. The lowest point for lots of us was Argentina’s elimination and the cruellest blow was Cavani’s  injury which took the edge out of a very compact Uruguay team.

As far as Peru was concerned, the team just did not have a shred of luck, which is required in these type of tournaments, although they did make a good impression after an absence of almost four decades the World Cup, and as luck had it, they met France playing percentages in the meanest possible way, with time wasting from the start of the second half with the score at 1-0, and holding the ball by the corner flag with 15 minutes of time to play. Most memorable for us was the Peruvian fans who filled the stadia where the Blanquirroja showed some quality football.

The World Cup was the event when Sports Betting came of age on a global scale and got more famous as people the world over sought to have a wager on the team of their choice. Below, a few lines on how sports betting has impacted in Colombia; and after my visit to Lima in mid-July, news that the Internet gaming bill is making progress on its way to Congress. They say November, but I have always said that I believe in Santa Claus.

August is vacation time in Europe, and we will take a few days off in Tenerife or the Jurassic Coast in Dorset or Cornwall on the English Channel. Just around the corner, so to speak, and if any of you find themselves out there, you around!



Regulated gambling helps fund Health sector in Colombia

Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas and Coljuegos president Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo informed the nation that financial resources allocated to improving the health of Colombia’s citizens has been boosted to the tune of COL$2.5bn US$890m) over the last six years, from taxes raised directly from legal gaming. Resources improved owing to strategies such as offering new forms of gambling, effective regulatory controls and combatting illegal gambling.

Perez Hidalgo said that growth of 44 per cent in the collection of gambling exploitation rights that finance the health sector, also aids the development of an industry that contributes with the payment of taxes, governed by statutes and regulations and that today the gaming industry must be catalogued as a sector of the national economy that contributes more than $2bn (US$688m).

“Casinos and bingo halls provided the largest share (60 per cent) of revenue with COL$1.5 bn, while the lottery game Baloto-Revancha generated COL$663.498 in taxes; Superastro game generated COL$284.480m and promotional games from other private firms contributed COL$23,478m. Internet operated games, of which Colombia is a regulating pioneer on the American continent, has generated in just one year of operations a total of COL$16,475m”, added Perez Hidalgo.

Hidalgo also heralded the successful clampdown on thousands of illegal machines during the six-year spell. In total 21,821 unlicensed games were seized, leading to the arrest of 33 illegal operators. Further to that, Colombia has blocked 419 illegal gaming websites.

IJAN funds new school in Neuquén

The new school in CPEM Nº 89 in Neuquén province, Argentina, which needed an investment of more than 20 million pesos, enables teaching to 636 students and adults. It was opened by Governor Omar Gutiérrez and was built with funds from Instituto de Juegos de Azar del Neuquén(IJAN) in Rincon de los Sauces.

The school, which was run from CPEM N ° 24 and school N ° 238, now has an area of 859 square metres, six classrooms, laboratory, administration building and health services, and will teach approximately 636 young students as well as adults at evening classes.

The school funding work is in tune with the policies of the Government of the province of Neuquén and the objectives of IJAN, which allocates proceeds from gambling revenue for social causes, supporting education and community development.

AJ raids illegal gambling houses

The chief executive of Bolivia’s Autoridad de Fiscalización del Juego(AJ), Jessica Saravia, said at a July 11 press conference that the previous evening in the city of Trinidad, they had carried out simultaneous operations in that city and also in the city of Santa Cruz, confiscating 19 illegal gaming machines.

“It is within the framework of our competence that the two operations have taken place and this entails first the administrative proceedings against people who are responsible for the illicit management of gambling houses, where a fine of 5000 UFVs (approx. US$1,600) is determined for each one of the illegal machines in operation. Second comes a criminal process via the Public Ministry in which we hope to determine who are responsible for the alleged crimes of illicit enrichment of individuals against interest of the State,” said the AJ Director.

The aim of the work by AJ is to destroy and disable illegal gambling machines so that they do not return to the marketplace. The Gambling Supervision Authority carries our such operations in order to monitor and control gambling activities in the country that are not prohibited and that meet certain requirements approved by the regulators to ensure that the gambling public has access to places that meet conditions for legal, transparent and fair play.

Iguazu Casino celebrates 24 years of fun

With a treasured location on the corner between Brazil and Paraguay and under the legendary Devil’s Throat at Iguazu Falls, Casino Iguazú makes the claim to be known as a true amusement park for adults. The casino in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, on the border with Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) and under the wonderful Iguazú Falls, celebrated birthday number 24 in great style in mid-July. Next to the casino and recognized also as one of the most popular in the country, the Iguazú Grand Resort also held celebrations for 20 years in the luxury hospitality industry in the small Argentine city.

The falls are considered by TripAdvisor as one of the main attractions of the world, and the casino is one of the most important casinos in Latin America. Located just 300 metres from the duty-free shop (in the Argentinean customs area) and only 15 minutes from the impressive Devil’s throat at Iguazu Falls, so vast and exciting that can be the envy of the waters on the Brazilian side.

In this elegant and unique space, the casino offers 40 gaming tables: Roulette, Black Jack, Baccarat, Poker, Craps, and the Texas Hold’em poker room. All the different games plus 250 slots machines brought excitement and surprise to winners in the last six months, with poker rewards ranging from AR$150,000 to AR$200,000. Last month, the Super High Roller tournament – which a guaranteed prize on offer of AR $500,000, paid out more than AR$950,000 to some happy winners.

What Casino Iguazu offers is a unique and unforgettable experience. During the Baccarat tournament, which took place during the birthday celebration, Francisco Langer, director of marketing, said: “Celebrating double was exceptional for the HCI group customers and players who were able to enjoy a programme of activities that included elegant dining, festivals, the World Cup and, of course, “a great tournament!”

With the mission of being a great centre of entertainment in this unusual tri-national region, HCI Group will invest this year more millions in shows, especially with the great names of Brazilian music, as well as in structural changes and the upgrading of the gambling floors.