LEGALIZATION BILL ADVANCES IN BRAZIL

A bill to bring back legal bingo, machine games and other games of chance in Brazil has cleared an important legislative hurdle, overwhelmingly passing the Chamber of Deputies’ Commission of the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship by a vote of 40-7.

The measure now goes to the full Chamber for a vote.

The text of the bill was revised from an earlier version but emerged from the committee essentially unchanged, although it now includes a provision adding public safety to the list of tax beneficiaries.

If approved by the Chamber and the Senate and signed by President Luiz da Silva, the bill would authorize one bingo or gaming hall for every 150,000 inhabitants, so there could be as many as 1,000 nationwide, according to unofficial calculations. At that number it is expected they would employ about 320,000 people.

The measure would require operators to pay a 17 percent tax on winnings. This would be divided between the states, which will receive 53 percent, the federal government, which will receive 30 percent, 15 percent would be earmarked for health programs and 2 percent to cultural and sports programs in addition to public safety.

The Brazilian Bingo Association estimates the state and federal governments would collect more than US$3 billion a year.

Rosario is the country’s third-largest city and now host to one of its largest casinos.

New 2,000-slot casino, hotel arrive in Argentina

Developers of Argentina’s City Center Rosario have unveiled what they’re calling the largest mixed-use entertainment center on the continent.

A large-scale casino, a luxury hotel and a convention center anchor the 135,000-square-meter, seven-hectare complex, which was scheduled to open last month in the country’s third-largest city and the capital of the Province of Santa Fe, about 200 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.

Developed by locally based Casino Club, one of South America’s premier operators, and Spanish slots and operations giant Cirsa, the three-level casino contains more than 2,000 TITO-enabled machine games, 80 table games, a poker room, a VIP salon, a 300-seat bingo hall, five bars and live entertainment.

The five-star hotel is the first of France’s Pullman chain to open in South America. It has 188 rooms, a restaurant, swimming pools, tennis courts, spa and fitness facilities and a business center.

The adjoining Parana Convention Center can host up to 2,500 people in a single space and is equipped with the latest communications technologies, including property-wide wi-fi and video conferencing and booths for simultaneous language translation.

City Center also features a theater, retail shopping, a variety of restaurants, banking and child-care facilities and a bowling alley.

NEW ARGENTINE CASINO GOES ALL IN WITH IGT

International Game Technology has expanded its presence in Argentina in a big way with a placement of more than 1,400 machine games, together with the company’s IGT Advantage gaming management system, at the new Casino Rosario in the city of Rosario.

The installation represents 72 percent of the games at the new venue, which opened October 15.

“The entire IGT team is thrilled to see the completion and opening of this world-class casino resort,” said Patti Hart, chief executive officer of the Reno, Nev.-based slot giant. “IGT is proud to be such an important part of this unique, high-quality project.”

The company’s Latin America office has been working the last few years with management at Casino Rosario to create just the right games and systems combination. IGT provided worldwide support for the installation of the games, and a team of local engineers managed the installation of the IGT Advantage system, the company said.

“We have been working very closely with the IGT team since the beginning of this project and the partnership has been outstanding,” said Ricardo Benedicto, president of Casino Rosario. “We are thoroughly excited to offer our players the latest and greatest games from such a leading gaming company.”

The games installed at Casino Rosario will include premium products, MultiPLAY games, multiplayer products and a host of video and mechanical reel games.

Casino Rosario executives called the IGT Advantage gaming management system “the best choice based on previous experience and the outstanding vision of the future that IGT has for this product.”

Benedicto said, “It was an easy decision to go with IGT Advantage.”

BOLIVIA'S LICENSEES COULD BE OUTLAWED

Bolivia’s House of Representatives has approved a bill that would ban the country’s loosely regulated machine gambling industry.

If passed by the Senate the measure would prohibit the operation of any type of machine game and revoke all operating licenses granted by the National Lottery, the Lonabol.

“There has been an exorbitant growth of these [gambling] centers without benefiting the society or the state,” said Rep. Gustavo Torrico.

The bill gives licensees 30 days to remove from the country all their gaming machines and equipment and furniture in bingo halls and casinos, most of which are located in the city of Santa Cruz.