Enjoy's IPO raises US$42M. for expansion

Chilean casino and hotel operator Enjoy netted about US$42 million in an initial public offering.

In an endorsement of the country’s burgeoning casino industry, and a sign that global interest may be swinging back toward emerging gambling markets, the company placed 462 million shares, or about 30 percent of its equity, at 50 Chilean pesos per share (US$0.10). Enjoy said local institutional investors acquired 184 million shares, foreign institutional investors bought 35 million, employees bought another 22.7 million, and retail investors bought 220.3 million.

The funds will be used to finance a $335 million expansion plan, Chief Executive Javier Martinez said, which includes new casinos in the Chilean city of Puerto Varas and the Chiloe archipelago and possible expansion in Eastern Europe. The company currently operates in Antofagasta, Coquimbo, Viña del Mar, Santa Cruz and Pucon and in the Argentine city of Mendoza.

Chile’s casino industry has grown 13.7 percent annually over the last decade, according to Martinez, generating spend of about $4 billion a year, or about 0.2 percent of GDP (compared to 0.7 percent in the United States and 1.2 percent in Spain), which he said indicates plenty of room for growth.



GAMBLING BILL OK'd BY COMMITTEE OF BRAZIL'S CONGRESS

The Commission of Finance and Taxes of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies has endorsed a plan for the legalization of bingo, video bingo and video gambling games.

The vote was supported by representatives of a number of interest groups, including business entities and organizations of gaming workers, according to a report in Terra Brasil.

The legislation is not without its critics, however. Several deputies spoke out against it. “Brazil has a very big portfolio of games authorized by [government-owned banking giant] CAIXA, and bingos have already generated negative consequences for the country,” said one lawmaker.

The bill mandates that bingo halls be located at a minimum distance from schools and calls for an exclusion list of problem gamblers to be compiled and enforced. The commission, however, rejected a proposal to include a ban on online games.

The bill was scheduled to be addressed next in the chamber’s Commission of the Constitution and Justice. After that, it will be considered in the Senate.



ECUADOR IMPOSES NEW REGULATIONS

New gambling regulations banning credit play and limiting promotional offers have been established in Ecuador by presidential decree.

Under the new rules the Tourism Ministry also will compile a registry that requires slot manufacturing and assembly operations, importers and distributors and software providers to obtain licenses, and each will have to adhere to technical requirements.

A third leg of the regulations calls for the development of procedures for real-time online interconnections between casinos to facilitate tighter controls and auditing.

The industry has until the end of 2010 to conform to the new rules.



RITZIO GROUP OPENS THIRD LIMA CASINO

Russia’s Ritzio Group has extended its presence in Peru with the opening of a branded Casino New York in the capital of Lima.

The venue contains 500 slot machines and 17 table games, including Texas Hold ’Em poker, and a gourmet restaurant called, appropriately, Broadway.

The casino kicked off its opening with a drawing - “La Elección de sus Sueños,” or “The Choice of Your Dreams - offering players the chance to win a new Audi, Volvo or Mercedes Benz.

Casino New York is Ritzio’s third gambling hall in Lima. The other brands, Aladdino and Flamingo, together with the new venue, total 900 slots.



NEW BIDDERS SOUGHT FOR PARAGUAY CASINOS

Paraguay’s National Games of Chance Commission has called for new tenders for existing casinos in the capital of Asunción, in the Central Department and in Alto Paraná, Itapúa and Cordillera.

The new licenses will include for the first time a combination fee system that includes fixed monthly payments and fees on utilities.

The Asuncion tender is the city’s second. An earlier one was left void. The Central Department’s tender is necessitated by the cancellation of a contract held by Casino Entertainment, lack of payment being the official cause.



CODERE LAUNCHES NEW CASINO BRAND

Codere has opened a new gambling facility in the Colombian capital of Bogota, the first under the Spanish company’s Crown Casinos brand.

The US$5 million, 1,250-square-meter venue offers 130 slot machines, 14 table games and 15 bingo positions.

A second Crown Casino is planned for the city of Cali, where Codere already operates.

The company currently runs about 6,000 machine games in Colombia of various types, along with casinos and bingo halls, across 130 local jurisdictions, including Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin.