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Argentina – Codere’s headquarters raided in Buenos Aires

By - 22 March 2016

Members of the Argentine Gendarmerie have raided Codere’s headquarters in Buenos Aires.

Gendarmerie troops raided Codere’s offices in downtown Buenos Aires last Thursday afternoon according to local news portal lapoliticaonline.

The reasons for the raid are unknown and members of law enforcement officers came away empty handed according to local press reports.

Codere is the market leader in Buenos Aires province. Currently, the company runs a total of fourteen bingo halls, 6, 500 slot machines and employs over 4,000 people in the province. However, the company has been the focus of some controversy of late.

In November restaurant workers from Bingo La Plata as well as other workers from another eight Codere bingo halls staged a protest outside the Government House to protest the possible redundancies of 800 workers. There has also been controversy over the company’s decision to open up a new bingo hall in the province with church leaders joining together to condemn the move which they say will bring with it “terrible consequences.”

Despite these problems Codere has reported that operating revenues in 2015 increased by 18.3 per cent to to €1,639.5m partly due to the improved results in Argentina. For Argentina revenue increased by 39.4 per cent compared to last year and stood at €681.8m. Improved revenues were due in part to the appreciation of the Argentine peso when compared against the dollar and against the Euro.

However the police raid comes at a time of a significant shift in gaming policy in the province. Earlier this year the newly elected Governor María Eugenia Vidal said that she does not want to see any more gaming operations opening during her time as governor. She also said that tax income generated by the industry would not be used as a way to resolve the province’s financial difficulties which was widely seen as a direct attack on her predecessor Daniel Scioli. In 2012 Scioli renewed licences for five Codere bingo halls in the province for a period of up to 15 years. The decree allowed his administration to find emergency funding to pay bonuses for state workers which ultimately enabled the provincial Treasury to raise around US$328m extra.

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