Uruguay’s national director of casinos wants to bring 15,000 non-casino gaming machines into a regulatory framework.
“These slots are in a legal limbo,” said Javier Cha, the new director of casinos for Uruguay. “Our goal is to regulate this activity.”
According to reports from El Pais and Yogonet, this year the ministry of economy and the gaming board will jointly present a bill that will tax the heretofore “grey-area” slots. The bill also will set the tax rate for the devices.
Cha wants the slot machines to be taxed or connected to a central network, which would provide a means to monitor them.
Among the changes the bill introduces are location, size and hours of operation of non-casino slot venues. At present, many slot halls are situated near schools and in the outlying neighborhoods of Montevideo.
Said Cha, “Slots cannot be installed anywhere and in any situation. Neither will they be of any size nor will they operate at any time.”
Walpirio Cardozo, president of the slots owners association, Aufoje, said that five years ago his association began to look into a system for paying taxes.
“We think we would pay $4 million a year to the state if we operate according to the rules,” said Cardozo.
According to Cardozo, each machine takes in about $100 a month, which is split between the owner of the machine and the owner of the location. Aufoje data says that total slot take for all 15,000 machines is $18 million per year.