International edition
June 21, 2021

Raúl Pazos, General Manager of Hípica Rioplatense Uruguay

“Our venues contribute with more than half the income that the state receives concerning gaming”

(Uruguay, exclusive Yogonet.com).- Through its unit Maroñas Entertainment, Hípica Rioplatense Uruguay operates four gambling venues that receive 3,5 million visits per year. In 2009, the venues reported us$ 50 million to the state thanks to its slots collection. Yogonet interviewed Raúl Pazos, general manager of this society between Sociedad Latinoamericana de Inversiones and Codere S.A.

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ts slots collection is comprised by products of companies such as IGT, Williams, Novomatic, Konami, Aristocrat, Atronic and Bally. The executive informed that they are incorporating TITO technology to their machines. Besides, Pazos remarked the importance of Hipódromo de Maroñas, a complex they operate since 2002, for the business structure of the firm.

Which is the position of Maroñas Entertainment in the Uruguayan market?
Hípica Rioplatense Uruguay is the largest consumer market company in the country and operates in two big areas: horse races and slot machines. From the beginning of its operations in 2003, have already invested more than us$ 60 million, that have been allocated to improvements in infraestructure of the horse race-track Hipódromo Nacional de Maroñas, to the refurbishment and improvement of its gambling halls and the acquisition of our collection of machines, comprised by more than 1,600 latest-generation slots. Maroñas Entertainment is the slots unit of the company and it is a mixed development with the General Casino Direction of the state. Since its opening in 2003, we have incorporated a new concept in the entertainment sector in Uruguay, because we have added to the classic slots venues a top-level setting and services, with special attention to details.

Our four venues, located in the Metropolitan area of Montevideo, contribute to more than half the incomes that the state receive by the entertainment venues controlled by the General Direction of Casinos. Only in 2009, the Uruguayan state obtained, in the halls leased by Hípica Rioplatense, a number close to us$ 50 million in slots collection.
 
Which is the differential of the offer in your venues with regards to other casinos?

The location of our venues is very important, because they are located in key points of the city and in zones with more purchasing power, which also responds to a philosophy we share with the government to avoid the promotion of gaming to areas with less purchasing power. 

We have a marked customer service policy. Machines are important, but the service and customized attention are valued by customers. We all may have the same machines; but the difference is the service we make. We are currently receiving almost three million and a half visits per year to our venues, which is the best indicator of the preference of the public towards our proposal, which in some of our venues operate 24 hours a day all week.

Who are your main slots providers?
We count with the latest generation machines from the most important providers worldwide, such as IGT, Williams, Novomatic, Konami, Aristocrat, Atronic and Bally.
 
What is the role of poker in your venues?
Our venues do not offer traditional table games, but we do provide machines that simulate poker games. We also count with special top –category venues with electronic roulettes, which we have recently inaugurated and which attract the attention of a select and large group of people that procure this specific entertainment.
 
Which are your main projects for the following months? Have you expansion plans? Do you plan to open new venues?
We have several initiatives which we are preparing in order to maintain and consolidate the position of privilege in the market. We are incorporating the TITO technology for the machines in our venues, which means a substancial and favourable chance in the gaming experience. We also target to a better and more renewed collection of machines and we recently launched a membership plan for our customers. But basically we will keep on working with our human resources in the permanent training to assure that our customers keep on choosing us compared to other options, due to the warmth and attention of our personnel, and the funny, innovative and sourprising proposal that means Maroñas Entertainment.
 
What place does Maroñas horse race-track occupy in its business model?
Maroñas racetrack constitutes a permanent focus of attention of our business. The horse race activity worldwide is lagging behind with regards to its position decades ago. It has brought to a reformulation of the business so race-tracks may develop. We cannot omit that the horse-race activity is a great generator of employment and, in the particular case of
Uruguay, it also encourages the export of pure thoroughbred horses for racing. There are 50,000 people that currently depend, directly or indirectly, on the horse-race activity in the country. For these and other reasons, in Hípica Rioplatense we follow an important investment plan in infraestructura, technology, amenities and the generation of an Equestrian Prize to consolidate the Maroñas position as regional focus. We hope the new administration will help us working with the environment, improving the access to the horse race-track and the housing conditions of some neighbours.

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