Argentine operator Crown Casino has begun the construction of the Sol del Río project in the capital of the province of Río Negro Viedma. Work will be developed in stages while the traffic will be reduced around the area.
After the public hearing was held in February, the Municipality demanded several changes to the area including the paving of all of all the lanes and roads that surround the site.
Crown will invest around $450m in the new complex which will include a casino, a 54 room hotel, a food court, a convention centre for more than 500 people, a shopping centre and a casino, which according to the architects of the new hotel, will only take up 6 per cent of the new complex. In return, Crown requested and was granted a 10-year extension of its licences for its operations in Las Grutas, El Cóndor, Viedma, Cipolletti, Roca, Choele Choel and Catriel. Construction work should be complete within three years.
In what will be a major expansion in the area Crown signed a contract in December 2017 with local football club Sol de Mayo for the transfer of two hectares of waterfront land. Members of the club had approved the offer in May 2016. In return, the club will receive a $114m facelift including work on the football grounds, the swimming pool as well as other infrastructure works (which will be part of the total $450m budget for the new complex). The current casino in the provincial capital has until now operated in a rented property. The licence will run until 2042.
The province aims to increase the tax revenue from gaming by improved control and monitoring over slots in the province. Earlier this month private independent gaming testing laboratory BMM testlabs trained 17 more gaming inspectors on behalf of the Rio Negro Lottery.
Luis Ayestarán, the auditor of the Lottery of Río Negro, emphasised that trained inspectors would raise income for the state and would make “the inspection process in the gaming halls of the province more transparent”.