International edition
January 23, 2018 | Edition Nº3410

A serious blow against Argentine gambling industry

Buenos Aires: government shuts down three casinos and plans further gambling restrictions

Buenos Aires: government shuts down three casinos and plans further gambling restrictions
"We do not believe that there should be such a large gambling offer in the province. Within the next two years, as we balance public accounts, our intention is to continue restricting the offer," Vidal added.
Argentina | 01/11/2018

Governor María Eugenia Vidal decided to close down the casinos in the province’s seaside cities of Necochea, Valeria del Mar, and Mar de Ajó. She also revealed her plans to close one bingo hall in Temperley township and to submit a call for bids for the operation of 3,860 slot machines that are currently operating relying on extensions to their original contracts.

T

hree casinos will close their doors in Buenos Aires province, and in accordance with official data, only nine will continue to operate this year. On Dec 31, Valeria del Mar’s casino was shut down and in the next months, the casinos in Necochea and in Mar de Ajó will follow. The contract between the Province and those casinos came to an end, and the Governor decided to cancel them. The same will happen to Temperley's bingo hall, managed by Codere, which was planning to move to Puente La Noria.

In this way, both the slot machines of the three casinos —provided and operated by Boldt— and the live table games, whose privatization is prohibited under the Constitution, will cease to operate. Authorities have already informed that the employees of the Buenos Aires Province Lottery will be relocated to nearby casinos.

“In these first two years, we set ourselves the goal of ending gambling expansion. Not a single machine has been added, we did not open a single lottery agency and the bingo hall that was about to open finally did not. Now we will proceed with a stage in which we will further restrict gambling,” said Vidal yesterday to the press.

Anti-gambling offensive

"We do not believe that there should be such a large gambling offer in the province. Within the next two years, as we balance public accounts, our intention is to continue restricting the offer," Vidal added.

The government believes that shrinking the gambling market could generate more competitive offers. For practical purposes, the rules of the call for bids are very similar to those throughout the region: the bidders will have to buy the bidding documents (which will have a value of ARS 500,000 (USD 26,300). A scoring system will be established: companies will have to demonstrate that they belong to the sector and that they have enough capital.

The governor plans to impose further restrictions on gambling, although she avoided giving details about which rooms could be shut down.

Some say that many of the 45 operational bingo halls could be closed down in the coming years.

The Governor will also announce new measures against illegal gambling, such as the possibility of making complaints through a toll-free number and the mobile app "Province Safety". It also seeks to improve care to individuals with gambling problems, so that they are taken care of in the Provincial Addiction Centers.

"The idea that restricting legal gambling promotes illegal gambling is wrong," Vidal said at the close of her statements. Both legal and illegal gambling cause a lot of damage to many people in the province. I think both must be done: restricting legal gambling while fighting against the illegal one.

Yogonet.com
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