Paraguay – Tender for Ciudad del Este casino set for this monthBy Phil - 8 March 2017
The call for tender could be made for the construction of a large scale casino and hotel in the city of Ciudad del Este as early as this month.
According to Javier Balbuena Head of the Gaming Board (CONAJZAR): “CONAJZAR approved the terms and conditions for the call for tenders last year but what is still lacking is agreement within the inter agency commission which is made up of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Customs Office, The National Secretary of Toursim, The Ministry of Finance and CONAJZAR. If everything goes well the call for tenders will be made in anticipation of the opening of envelopes in the middle of this month.”
A number of operators are believed to be interested in opening a casino including Hard Rock International as well as other operators from the United States and Chile. Hard Rock first showed interest in the project in October 2014 when the company announced plans to install a casino and hotel in the city. The decision to launch in Paraguay was, according to local press reports, made after a wide sweeping study was carried out by a team of local specialists who provided advice on marketing, strategy as well as financial planning, government oversight and local gaming laws.
In November last year the President of the Republic of Paraguay authorised by decree, the development of a tourism project in a building belonging to the headquarters of Paraguay’s National Ports Authority (ANNP). The new casino and hotel will be located on an eleven hectare sized space which currently serves as the headquarters of the ANNP at the head of the Friendship Bridge (Puente de la Amistad) – an arch bridge connecting the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu and Ciudad del Este.
While a tender process was not originally envisaged it is still positive news for the planned Hard Rock Hotel and Casino as it is likely that the government will ultimately give the green light to the company which may invest an much as US$70m in building a hotel and casino in Paraguay’s second largest city. The news comes after it was announced last week that the Director of the National Customs Service of Paraguay Nelson Valiente had ordered the transfer of the administrative units of the ANNP and the Customs Office to make way for the casino.