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Calls to open casinos in Ecuador again

Thu, Sep 26, 10:03am by Staff Writer

The Association of Former Casinos Workers of Ecuador held a fresh protest in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, against the prohibition of casinos this July.

The group, led by Mauricio Villacis, says it plans to lodge a claim of unconstitutionally against the ban on casinos and bingo parlours with the country’s Constitutional Court.

“We’re talking about a measure that was unconstitutional,” said Villacis.

“At this moment, with rising unemployment, we’re proposing a measure which would generate up to 20,000 new jobs for Ecuadorian workers, which would attract additional tourists to the country and would be positive for the economy.

He added that the prohibition of gaming had simply pushed the activity underground, citing figures which indicate that in Guayas province alone, the national police closed around 30 illegal casinos between 2012 and 2018.

The association also contends that by reopening casinos the government “would prevent capital outflows” to Peru and Colombia.

It estimates that 15 per cent of gambling revenue in these markets is generated by Ecuadorian nationals, according to Casino Review.

In May, it was reported that the mayor of Quito, Jorge Yunda, had thrown his weight behind the re-legalisation of casinos in the Ecuadorian capital and had raised the possibility of holding a referendum on the issue.

“If we’re going to live off tourism, I think we could ask the population of Quito if they are interested in having more jobs and if they agree with reopening casinos,” Yunda stated.

Guitar-shaped casino resort for Mexico

Hard Rock International and Spanish gambling group Codere have reportedly been in talks to form a joint venture and build a guitar-shaped casino resort in Mexico.

Casino News Daily reported in August that newspaper El Confidencial reported last week that Hard Rock and Codere have agreed to a 60-40 partnership that will see the joint development and operation of a casino resort in Mexico City.

Mexico is a major market for Codere as the company has been extending aggressively its Latin American footprint in the past several years.

While El Confidencial reported that Hard Rock and Codere have already entered into a partnership, Spanish-language gaming news outlet AZARplus reported, citing information provided by Codere, that it was a bit too early to unveil more details about a potential “strategic alliance” with Hard Rock in Mexico.

It emerged last week that the two gambling companies have secured a site in Mexico City for the development of a guitar-shaped hotel and casino resort.

The property would cost $1 billion to be built and according to sources familiar with the ongoing talks between Hard Rock and Codere, the latter operator would invest about $360 million in the scheme.

Reports suggested that the Mexico City resort would feature 48 stories, a casino and betting area, dining outlets, and entertainment facilities, among other amenities.

The two gambling operators are believed to have tapped Credit Suisse to secure the bank loan they would need to raise the complex up from the ground.

If Hard Rock and Codere form a joint venture in Mexico and clear all the hurdles that accompany a project of this scale, they would develop the second guitar-shaped resort in the portfolio of the Florida-based gaming and hospitality giant.

The company is gearing up preparations for the upcoming opening of the renovated and expanded Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood resort in South Florida.

Hard Rock spent $1.5 billion on updating the property and adding the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel, among other facilities.

The refurbished complex is slated to open doors on October 24.

The hotel tower and the other upgraded amenities at the resort would look to attract visitors throughout the country and around the world and “put South Florida on the map as a world-class gaming destination.”


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