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Argentina – Buenos Aires to launch tender at end of year

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The Governor of the province of Buenos Aires, María Eugenia Vidal, has decided to tender all of the casinos in the province before the end of the year.

According to local sources the government has been working for several months on a set of new terms and conditions, which are now in the last stage of review.

Head of Lottery and Casinos, Matías Lanusse will be in charge of overseeing the tender process that affects casinos, slot machines and tables operating within the 11 provincial casinos which all expire in a few months time. The operation of slot machines in the casinos, which are located in the centre of the province and along the coast, is currently held by Boldt which operates 2,600 slot machines in the province of Buenos Aires – home to 15.6m people.

According to local daily Clarin the business is currently worth around $550m pesos a year. Boldt’s licence expired in March and the new tender process is likely to begin a hard fought contest as operators seek to make further inroads into the market with Codere, Inverclub, and Boldt all rumoured to be interested in the new licences.

It is estimated that the licences could cost as much as US$100m in all: US$70m for the licence to run the slot machines while as much as US$30m could be invested in building improvements. There have been several delays when it comes to the granting of the new licences. Riding high in the polls the decision to move forward is in keeping with Vidal’s proposal to achieve changes that previous administrations were unable to.

The new plan was put forward last week when the mayor of Pinamar, Martín Yeza, made the Governor’s plans public to a group of local hoteliers and businessmen. The Minister of Tourism Gustavo Santos, as well as the President of the Buenos Aires Chamber of Deputies, Manuel Mosca was also present at the meeting.

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