owever, in the same period, the payments made to the government for its participation in the leisure industry decreased a 10.2% to us$ 18.3 million regarding the previous year.
Gaming & Services, subsidiary of Cirsa Business Corp., Spanish manufacturer of slots that administrates nine casinos in the country, welcomed a formula of “equal terms” with new operators, paying the 10% of its gross income instead of the minimum quantity of us$ 6.2 million paid in 2005. Casinos also asked for an adjustment, but the petition was denied by JCJ.
According to an investigation performed on January 13th 2007, Panama is the country which occupies the first position in bets in Latin America, due to the relation between the number of establishments and the population.
In 2006, the total of bets in casinos, bingos and in the horse racetrack increased a 18.1%, to U$S 767.6 million. Of this total, us$ 457 million were paid in prizes, 18.4% more than a year ago. Casinos and slot halls paid 93.5% of this amount.
The Panamenian Anonimous Association for people with gambling problems (Alapa) affirms that the country already registers a level of casino saturation. In total, there are 15 casinos operating in the country, of which 8 are located in the capital city. Since 2005 two new licenses have been approved, one in Veneto hotel as well as the reopening of the hotel Meliá de Colón in Mallorca, and new requests are expected as long as new touristic resorts are to be built