By the A.M. Costa Rica staff Municipal inspectors had two casino operators turn off slot machines over the weekend because of tax and paperwork irregularities.
At the Horseshoe Casino some 24, about half the mechanical slot machines, were darkened, and the second floor bar was closed down.
At the Hotel Del Rey across Avenida 1 and Calle 9 some 24 more mechanical machines were shut down. The Del Rey recently remodeled and created space for many more slot machines.
Natalia Gamboa, head of the licensing department of the Municipalidad de San José, confirmed the shutdowns of machines at the two casinos.
She said Tuesday that officials checked out a number of Togel hari ini businesses Friday to verify their licenses. Involved were restaurants and other types of businesses as well as the two casinos.
In the inspection were representatives of the Ministerio de Salud, the Fuerza Pública and others from the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.
Ms. Gamboa said at the Horseshoe inspectors found slot machines that were not authorized or licensed by the municipality. She said that the casino has approval for 49 machines but more were found. The situation is more complex than casino operators simply putting in extra machines. Ms. Gamboa noted that a one-year law passed in December 2002 taxed slot machines in 2003. That law expired Jan. 1, 2004. A new law to replace it still is in the committees of the Asamblea Legislativa.
However, Ms. Gamboa said that casinos still were supposed to license and pay tax on their machines. Additional machines added recently have not been approved, she said.
The casino operators have 10 working days to bring their establishments into conformity with the rules stated by the municipal officials, and some will have to eliminate some slot machines, she said.
The 48 machines still were turned off Tuesday night. However, beer was being served at the Horseshoe second-floor bar despite the municipal cloture order and a large municipal sticker on the normal beer storage case.
Betcorp preparing to buy Antiguan sportsbook FROM: E-GAMING REVIEW
Betcorp, the Australian parent company of BetWWTS, is in advanced negotiations to acquire an Antigua-based sportsbook and casino firm for US$6.15m. The takeover target was not named by the firm, but us reported to have an annual turnover of US$200m and a predominately recreational player base.
It has a reported pre-tax profit of US$1.1m in 2004, but Betcorp said it expected a far higher contribution in 2005.
There are only a few sportsbooks with casinos licensed in Antigua including the Sportingbet and BetonSports groups.
However, the two most likely contenders are Intertops and Cybersportsbook.
The acquisition of a predominately recreational sportsbook fits in with Betcorp’s previously stated desire to move away from high roller punters.
Betcorp said only 10% of the takeover target’s clients had an account with BetWWTS.
The firm, which returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2004, has raised an additional US$3.5m though a private placement to fund the deal.
It also updated 2005 forecasts, and said it expected to net a US$5.5m pre tax profit for the year.
Betcorp also said it would continue to explore further acquistion opportunities during 2005.