Chile: Still growing, without the pains...and more South American news



CHILE: STILL GROWING, WITHOUT THE PAINS

Chile’s Casino Superintendence cleared the way for the opening of the country’s fifth hotel attached to a casino.

The new 9,140-square-meter hotel, completed in March, is part of Fischer’s new Dreams Temuco casino complex and contains 96 guest rooms on eight floors and features a restaurant and bar, spa and fitness facilities, a swimming pool, a business center, a day care facility and convention and meeting space.

Dreams Temuco, one of 18 planned casinos authorized under legislation designed to boost economic development through the creation of a full-fledged Chilean destination-resort industry, opened in January at a cost of US$54 million with 580 slot machines, 36 table games and 352 bingo seats.

Temuco is the capital of the Región de la Araucania in the south-central part of the country. The region, which embraces both the coastal mountain range and Chile’s fertile Central Valley, contains a population of upwards of 900,000.

Eleven casinos are now up and running in the country in Antofagasta, Copiapó, Santa Cruz, Mostazal, Talca, Pinto, Talcahuano, Los Ángeles, Temuco, Osorno and Valdivia. The remaining facilities authorized by the law are slated for Calama, Ovalle, San Antonio, Rinconada, Castro, Coyhaique and Punta Arenas.

The latest to open is in Valdivia, capital of the Región Los Rios on Araucania’s southern border. Also a Fischer property, it was developed at a cost of $49.3 million.

GAMING LEGALIZATION ADVANCES, SLOWLY, IN BRAZIL'S LEGISLATURE

A bill to reintroduce games of chance into Brazil has cleared a legislative hurdle in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Congress, with the approval of the Commission of Economic, Industry and Commercial Development.

The bill, which would authorize casinos, bingo halls and video lotteries, still must be approved by the Constitution and Justice and Finance and Tax commissions before coming to the full house for a vote.

It will be an uphill battle for the measure, which has been circulated off and on since 2003. But if approved it would allow bingo halls to reopen and would authorize six casinos in the North, North-East and Central-West regions of the country as tools to promote economic development. The locations of the facilities would be determined by economic need.

Video lotteries would be confined to bingo halls and the casinos.

Labor officials in the state of Minas Gerais said legalizing the industry would create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Brazilian Bingo Association puts the number at 220,000.

Tax revenues, which would be split between the federal government and the states, have been projected as high as US$2.5 billion a year.

GLI JOINS REGULATORS FOR HISTORIC FIRST: AN EGD FIELD INSPECTION

GLI South America, a division of U.S.-based Gaming Laboratories International, recently joined with regulators in Argentina to conduct the first-ever field inspection of electronic gaming devices in South America.

The inspection was conducted in Entre Rios Province in collaboration with Instituto de Ayuda Financiera a la Acción Social. It covered more than 1,500 EGDs, including slots and electronic roulette games, in casinos in the cities of Chajari, Paraná and Victoria.

IAFAS is the first regulatory body on the continent to perform a direct on-site review of this type, which involved the opening of each device and the identification of its mother board and verification of its electronic signature.

The information was sent to GLI’s headquarters in New Jersey and from there will be disseminated to regulators to help establish technical standards and develop policies for ensuring integrity and assisting with tax collections.

ARGENTINA'S LOTTERY ENLISTED TO FIGHT MONEY LAUNDERING

Argentina’s National Lottery Society has joined with the government’s Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights to battle money laundering.

National Lottery President Armando López and Justice Minister Aníbal Domingo Fernández signed an agreement of cooperation calling for the development of training and investigation programs to comply with a new national initiative dedicated to prevent, investigate and prosecute the laundering of assets and terrorism financing.

The Lottery also has created its own special commission on money laundering, the first gaming industry organization in the country to authorize such an agency.