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Argentina – Chaco Province passes new rules on gaming

By - 12 August 2016

Casinos and gambling halls will in the future be discussed in a public hearing before a call for tender, according to a new amendment passed in the province of Chaco earlier this week by unanimous decision.

First put forward by Deputy Daniel Trabalon in 2014 the law amends article 2 of Chaco’s gaming law and now makes it obligatory for the State Lottery of Chaco to “convene a public hearing, so that citizens and the sectors involved in the initiative may express their opinions on the existence of the project to install a casino or gambling hall in the town concerned.”

According to the new law, this step is necessary because of the impact a new casino or gambling hall may have on the community and provides a forum by which those impacted by a new gambling establishment can have their say on “on an equal basis.” It will also give everyone the right to “provide suggestions or analysis of its consequences.”

In addition the law also aims to put in place stronger regulations when it comes to the installation and operation of casinos and slot parlours in the province while gaming in the future should be used as a means by which to promote tourism in the region. The law also aims to establish more transparency when it comes to the granting of licences which has, according to the new amendment, been lacking in the past.

While lawmakers praised the new bill as it would give locals more say when it comes to gaming in their communities, lawmaker Carim Peche said that the unanimous support the initiative had now found “was very funny. They’re going to put public hearings in place after concessions to casinos have already been granted for twenty years,” he said.

However, Deputy Ricardo Sánchez pointed out that public hearings could help prevent controversy in the future when it comes to gaming in the province. “Incorporating this seems very meritorious, very in tune with the democratisation of this process. It is very good to hear from the locals and the sectors involved who can provide a different viewpoint.” He also called to mind the controversy which had surrounded the building of a large scale casino in 2010 in San Pedro Pescador which was opposed by locals. The project was ultimately abandoned due to the rising tide of opposition to the project. The new amendment, he said, could prevent such situations from happening in the future.

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