The Governor of Buenos Aires María Eugenia Vidal has put the licence for slot machines operating in eight casinos in the province of Buenos Aires up for tender.
The operation of slot machines in the casinos, which are located in the centre of the province and along the coast, is currently held by Boldt which operates 2,600 slot machines in the province of Buenos Aires – home to 15.6m people.
According to local daily Clarin the business is currently worth around $550m pesos a year. Boldt’s licence expires in March and the new tender process is likely to hail a hard fought contest as operators seek to make further inroads into the market with Codere, Inverclub and Boldt all rumoured to be interested in the new licence. Boldt runs five gaming properties located in Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Mar del Plata and Miramar whilst Inverclub operates casinos in the city of Buenos Aires, Rosario and Neuquén. Meanwhile Codere is the market leader in the province of Buenos Aires. Currently, the company runs a total of fourteen bingo halls, 6,500 slot machines and employs over 4,000 people locally.
In order to take part in the tender potential operators will need to pay $300,000 pesos in order to gain access tor the terms and conditions for the new licensing process with an offer of US$100m set as the minimum bid. The licence will be valid for a fifteen year term and the winning bidder will also be given the option to extend the licence for another five years. Crucially a number of the slot machines are located in popular holiday destinations such as Mar del Plata and in other resorts along the coast.
The government is also looking to monitor the new slot machines online and will be launching a separate tender as it looks for a company to monitor the operations of the new licensee. According to local sources however the US$100m price tag could prove excessive. The Director of the Institute of Lottery and Casinos of the Province of Buenos Aires, Meliton Eugenio López will hand in his report on the licensing process to the governor in the coming days.