|New Rules In Nicaragua:Legalize Casinos or Disappear.|
Casinos and gaming halls under new rules
The casinos and gambling halls were yesterday under new legislation, which lawmakers approved in general and is expected to continue today in particular.
The Special Act for the control and regulation of casinos and gaming rooms in this sector will under the control of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur) and imposed several economic standards.
The law, passed by 65 votes to none against, three abstentions and 12 lawmakers who were present (and add to the majority itself), ranks the casinos and gaming rooms in four categories.
FOUR KINDS OF CASINOS
The class casinos, considered the highest standard, have at least 71 slot machines and three table games. The business must have a checking account and a $ 100,000 bank guarantee bond of $ 50.000.
The casinos Class B are those who are between 25 and 70 slot machines. The current account will rise to $ 50.000 and the bond will reach $ 40.000.
INVESTMENT FOR $ 200 MIL
Owners of Class A and B casinos will also be required to invest $ 200 000 and earned at least 30 direct jobs to open the business.
In the case of C class casinos, the requirements will be between 16 and 24 slot machines, a checking account by $ 25.000 and $ 20.000 bank deposit.
Finally, class D casinos are those with between 10 and 15 slot machines. The current account and the bank security for these businesses will be at least $ 10.000.
CONTROL IS THE GOAL
The chairman of the Committee on Production, Economics and Budget, the Sandinista Wálmaro Gutierrez said the purpose of the Act is to regulate this business.
Gutierrez said today in Nicaragua, the casino industry operates like a mirage, as they are officially recorded 120 of those businesses and generate 80 million annual córdobas.
SE legalize DISAPPEAR
The lawmaker stressed that the law will be required to legalize casinos or disappear.
"There is a proliferation of irresponsible venues and sites that are not even game rooms where there are slot machines, such as pharmacies, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, any type of establishment", criticized Gutierrez.
The law states that casinos can not allow the entry of children under 18 years and that the Department of Casinos and Gaming Venues, attached to Intur, will be the regulator of the industry business.
"This bill does not create new taxes on the tourism industry and casinos, for that is the fiscal equity law, here we are establishing rights," Gutierrez said yesterday, defending the adoption of the law.
The law, however, set different tariffs as the "application form" to open a casino, at a cost of $ 2.000.
Operating licenses, "says the law" shall be valid for 20 years and may be renewed.
Each slot machine will pay $ 20 and the gaming tables will be the sum of $ 100. Both year.
The casino bill came to parliament in 2002. But the bank chiefs agreed yesterday to discuss a different project, arguing that the original draft had "details" that needed to be improved.
Members Monica Baltodano and Eliseo Hernández Núñez criticized the process and agreed that there are hidden groups seeking benefits with the approval of the initiative.
"I know that casinos are a source of financing of election campaigns, not only here but in other parts of the world, what is behind this haste? Allow me to doubt and thus allow me to abstain from the process of adoption of this law, "said Baltodano in plenary.
According to Hernández Núñez, the new law will allow only the big hotels and high economic groups may be part of the casino industry and gaming tables.
The law prohibits participating as a partner, manager, director, agent or employee to universal suffrage, elected officials, ministers, deputy ministers, secretaries and directors of autonomous or decentralized.