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DATELINE GLOBALmay2010

B.C. CASINO PLAN SCRUTINIZED

Former gambling chairman gets nod for huge Vancouver project

C

ritics of a new casino planned for downtown Vancouver are questioning the propriety of the

deal, and the choice of a major political donor to develop and manage the $450 million gaming hall. T. Richard Turner is chairman of the Insurance

Corporation of British Columbia and former chair- man of the province’s lotteries and gambling corpo- ration. His company contributed $50,000 to Liberal candidates before the 2009 election, and Turner personally donated about $17,000. He told theNational Postthat he sees nothing wrong in taking control of the project. “I sleep nice-

BAHAMAS

Baha Mar project gets funding; residents may be allowed to gamble

BACK IN THE

G

aming in the Bahamas took a turn for the better last month when financing was announced for a

huge new project and the possible lifting of the ban that keeps Bahamians from gambling was discussed. The ill-fated Baha Mar casino resort develop-

ment in the Bahamas announced that the Beijing- based China State Construction and the Export- Import Bank of China (the same bank Revel in Atlantic City named as a possible financier) inked a deal that will provide $2.5 billion to finance the 3,000-room, 1,000-acre beach resort and casino in the Bahamas. The project was originally slated to include a Caesars Palace hotel and casino, but the withdrawal of Harrah’s Entertainment two years ago effectively stalled the project.

The funding from the Chinese companies means

that the project, which also includes a 100,000- square-foot casino and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, can proceed with the planning and permit- ting process. Meanwhile, a committee formed to examine

gaming laws in the Bahamas is said to be looking at allowing some residents to enter casinos and gamble. Officials at Bahamian casinos have urged the

government to make this change in order to create more business for their properties in a bad economic time. Even the head of the Atlantis on Paradise Island in Nassau has requested the change because of mas- sive expansion of gaming on the East Coast of the United States, the property’s main market.

PERU CASINOS GO SMOKE-FREE

Smoking has been banned in all public places in the Andean country.

T

12

he legislature in Peru has voted overwhelm- ingly in favor of a law that bans tobacco use in

all public, enclosed spaces, including casinos. The 120-member unicameral congress

approved the law with a vote of 60 to 4, with 13 abstentions, according to Europa Press. The move brings Peru into compliance with a World Health Organization agreement on smoking policy. Luis Alva Castro, president of the congress,

said of the law, “We must respect the health of the non-smokers, who are the majority.” The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco

Control is the first international treaty negotiated under the WHO umbrella, with 168 nations and regional economic integration organizations. Adopted in 2005 after three years of negotiation, the Tobacco Free Initiative is one of the most widely and rapidly rat- ified treaties in the history of the United Nations.

Global Gaming Business • May 2010

Rendering of the Baha Mar project in Nassau

ly at night,” he said. In 2006, Turner joined the board of

ParagonCanadaHoldingsULC, a division of Las Vegas-based Paragon Development Ltd., which had just bought a failing casino in Vancouver. His job, he said, was explaining to Paragon local perspectives and matters of community interest. In May, after the election, Paragon bid for and

won the right to build the new casino and hotel, and Turner was named to run the show. He told the Posthe had little input in the bidding process. He had not even “read the bid book” that lay on his desk. He “only looked at the pictures,” he said. “I purposely stayed out of the process. My only

input was about using as much wood as possible and not to use neon” in the proposed casino, he

told thePost.

Regulate Slots

‘Street market ’ machines will be regulated, taxed

Uruguay Seeks to

U

ruguay’s national director of casinos wants to bring 15,000 non-casino gaming machines into

a regulatory framework. “These slots are in a legal limbo,” said Javier

Cha, the new director of casinos for Uruguay. “Our goal is to regulate this activity.” According to reports fromEl Paisand Yogonet,

this year the ministry of economy and the gaming board will jointly present a bill that will tax the heretofore “grey-area” slots. The bill also will set the tax rate for the devices. Cha wants the slot machines to be taxed or con-

nected to a central network, which would provide a means to monitor them. Among the changes the bill introduces are loca-

tion, size and hours of operation of non-casino slot venues. At present, many slot halls are situated near schools and in the outlying neighborhoods of Montevideo. Said Cha, “Slots cannot be installed anywhere

and in any situation. Neither will they be of any size nor will they operate at any time.” Walpirio Cardozo, president of the slots owners

association, Aufoje, said that five years ago his asso- ciation began to look into a system for paying taxes. “We think we would pay $4 million a year to the

state if we operate according to the rules,” said Cardozo. According to Cardozo, each machine takes in

about $100 a month, which is split between the owner of the machine and the owner of the loca- tion. Aufoje data says that total slot take for all 15,000 machines is $18 million per year. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56
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