First casino law comes into force in Nicaragua
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“There are around 47 casinos and 750 gambling venues at a national level with slots” affirmed Oporta.
According to Law 766, the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (Intur) is the authority that will apply the law. This legal instrument awaited more than 8 years in the National Assembly for its approval. It hadn’t exist this law before, but it was applied the regulation of the National Police emerged from its own fundamental law and the National Lottery that regulated slots located in neibourhoods, markets and drug stores in the whole country.
“Before this law, there was a regulation approved by Intur Board of Directors to regulate the casino operation. For 2010, with the Reform to Fiscal Equity we started regulating the gambling venues through a Commission comprised by the National Police, the National Lottery, the General Direction of Income and INTUR about casino games, explained Omar Oporta, Director of Legal Affairs of Intur.
In Nicaragua there are approximately 14,000 machines registered on the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (INTUR). “There are around 47 casinos and 750 gambling venues at a national level with slots” affirmed Oporta.
“It creates all the requirements that a casino must comply to operate, it regulates everything related to operating licenses for casinos and gambling venues. It establishes restrictions for those casinos located near schools, churches and social centers”, explained José Figueroa, Representative of the Commission of Peace, Defense, Government and Human Rights.
“The key changes are related to the player security, and we intend it not to be something harmful. We aim to protect the citizens, the students, the underaged from having access to this type of game, to bring them quality, a category to the games of chance, to the casinos from the touristic point of view, to have harmony between the game and the player and to be transparent, specially that those games of chance may bring the player enough money and that those machines are not only absorbing money withouth bringing the respective jackpots”, highlighted Omar Oporta,.
Besides, the law creates the Casino Direction and the departments of inspectors, which will control the operation of table games, proving if these machines are returning the 85% of the winnings, assuring that machines are not changed, that games are homologated and authorized top lay in that gambling venue or casino.
With the new law, owners of casinos and gambling venues must comply with the requirements established in order to obtain the operating licenses.
Nowadays, inspectors and INTUR team in Managua have already started the training in November. In January 2012, the inspectors of the local offices of INTUR, National Police and Public Ministery will be trained. And finally in February, suppliers of touristic services will be trained.
The law also indicates the creation of the Commission of Machine Destruction, which will be in charge of destroying the machines that are not registered and that are operating ilegally.
In that case, the machine is seized and it goes to the commission, comprised by the Public Ministery, the National Police and the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (INTUR), who evaluate the situation according to the procedure and issue a report.
According to Law 766, a casino or gambling venue, to operate, must arrange two types of licenses before the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism. The Operating License is issued for 20 years and has a cost of us$ 2,000. The operating license is obtained paying us$ 20 for each machine and us$ 100 for each table game registered and operating. This payment will be made to DGI every month and to regulating entity INTUR every year. The new law also establishes that INTUR, as authority of application, will have the power to revise the record of customers that each venue must carry out.