International edition
September 19, 2021

The Direction of Casinos will present a bill

15,000 slots to be regularized in Uruguay

(Uruguay).- The regularization of slots is the main change in the policy of Javier Chá, the director of Casinos of the State. In Uruguay, there are 15,000 slots collect us$ 18 million a year

There is a legal void with those slots. We will aim to regularize this activity,” pointed the new director of Casinos of the State, Javier Chá. Together with the Ministry of Economy, the Direction of Casinos will present this year a bill to the Parliament, which will establish that the businessmen which are owners of informal slots should pay taxes to the state. The initiative will also determine the incomes that those slots will have to pay to bettors.

Chá wants slots to pay taxes or to give a technological improvement and be installed in a network, which will allow its remote control.

According to Chá, state venues and those associated to private parties “are a global example” with regards to retention. He added that the percentage of retention of the machines habilitated fluctuates between 6% and 8%. “The return for bettors is 92%”, he said.

Besides, he added that, with illegal slots, “the winning for citizens will have to be equal or similar to the one of the state. One thing is gaming, and another is a mere transference of resources.”

According to the owners of informal slots, the earnings rate that its slots bring are similar to the state slots: for each us$ 4.99 gambled, us$ 4.59 are returned.

Another problem for the state is the place in which these slots are installed. Most of them are located in outlying neighbourhoods in Montevideo and near schools and high schools. The bill aims to correct that anomaly: “Slots cannot be installed anywhere and in any situation. Neither they will have any size nor they will operate at any time”, warned Chá.

Walpirio Cardozo, president of the trade union of slots owners (Aufoje), commented that, five years ago this association started the search of a system to pay taxes to the state. “We think we would pay us$ 4 million a year to the state if we operate according to the rules”, he added. 

According to the businessman, each machine collects around us$ 100 a month. That number is divided among the businessman and the owner of the stores where the slot is installed. Aufoje data shows that this informal activity collects around us$ 18 million per year.

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