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Puerto Rico – Secret deal to approve VLTs comes under fire in Puerto Rico

By - 26 March 2015

Rumours that the government of Puerto Rico has been preparing a measure which would allow video lottery system through a backdoor deal have been heavily criticised by the president of a local slot trade group.

President of the Recreation Commercial Company, Pablo Rivera Corraliza accused Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, of conducting negotiations with foreign operators and hiding it from lawmakers.

According to local news reports, Mr. Fortaleza is working on legislation that could soon be sent for approval which seeks to give the green light to VLT’s in Puerto Rico. He said in a statement that government of Puerto Rico in its efforts to increase revenues “has committed, with at least three foreign companies, to put in place the video lottery system. This is being done in a confidential manner, with the participation of three companies, one of them which already has million-dollar contracts in Puerto Rico.”

As part of his complaint, Rivera Corraliza called on the legislature to investigate the negotiations which he says have been undertaken in secret and behind his back and would put five thousand jobs at risk.

He also warned that if the government found a way to implement VLT’s by an administrative order of the Treasury that it would make a ‘mockery’ of Puerto Rico’s constitutional system. “He is giving away our jobs and our businesses for nothing,” said Rivera Corraliza.

He said that the deal had been hidden from legislators because a similar bill had already been defeated in the last legislature.

“We have called on the governor to think, and to offer us the opportunity for a Puerto Rican team to be in charge of operating the adult entertainment machines,” he said. “Even the ones at the racetrack belong to a foreign company. This video lottery was defeated in the past by the Legislature, so we believe that these negotiations are being conducted behind lawmakers’ backs,” he said.

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