Argentina Extends Casino Bidding

The government of Argentina has extended the bidding deadline for seven casinos in Buenos Aires until June 27. At the same time, other casino licenses will be cancelled in a “restructuring” of the local industry, according to Governor María Eugenia Vidal (l.).

Argentina Extends Casino Bidding

Union workers protest shakeup

Would-be casino operators in Argentina have been given 90 more days to submit proposals for casinos in the province of Buenos Aires, reports Games Magazine Brasil. The new deadline for tenders is June 27.

The additional three months will give operators time to complete their proposals, according to the government’s Official Gazette. Bids will be opened between June 11 and 27. Licenses will run for a period of twenty years, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

Concurrently, in a plan to reduce gaming in the province, Governor María Eugenia Vidal announced that she would also cancel the licenses of casinos in Mar de Ajó, Valeria del Mar and Necochea, as well as the bingo hall in the city of Temperley in order to reduce gaming.

The closure of existing casinos and the licensing of new ones has sparked “an increasingly acrimonious dispute between the government and trade unions,” reported the magazine. Workers have protested the closures and Roberto Páez, general secretary of the Association of Management and Maintenance Services for Casinos said the shakeup will cost jobs and negatively affect the local economy.

“The governor clearly does not care about the workers,” he said. “We need to be heard and Mayor Juan Pablo De Jesús, as a representative of the people, needs to get involved and take a stand in safeguarding the interests of those who live and work in the locality.”

Meanwhile, it was rumored that Spain-based Alaisa Distribuidora SA, which plans to build a five-star hotel in Necochea on the Atlantic coast in Buenos Aires province, also may invest $100 million to refurbish and reopen Complejo Casino, the city’s only casino. The company recently acquired 51 per cent of the SanCor dairy company for $130 million.

Last year the Lottery and Casinos Institute recommended closing the casino since it consistently was operating at a loss, with annual income of $3.5 million and operating costs of $39.5 million. In January, Vidal announced that she would cancel the casino’s license. Necochea Mayor Facundo López questioned Vidal’s decision, stating it would “leave 70 families out on the street.” López also warned closing the casino would have a negative impact on the local tourism industry.

A city landmark, the beachfront Complejo Casino was built in 1973 and also houses cafes, retail, a bowling alley, bar, billiard room and skating rink. However, in 2015 the Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos moved the casino to a nearby theatre after two tourists fell from a balcony. It was the third time the casino had been shut down due to safety hazards.