Last August 30th, Casino National Director declared for more than an hour on the Department of Economic Crimes. Its statements were delivered to the criminal jurge Fanny Canessa.
The internal investigation of the Montevideo Council about the management of the local casinos found out direct contracts with companies linked to Bengoa relatives or friends, which is under investigation.
In statements to the press, Bengoa defended his performance and added: “I am convinced that things are being performed well and National Casinos have never earned so much as in this two years, which somehow supports the performance”.
On top of that, the Casino Director remarked that all the actions performed between 2000 and 2005 in the local gambling venues were supported by the top authorities of the Council. He said that they tried to modernize the casino reducing the staff, which was excessive, and added that investments were also rationalized.
“It did not have any sense to spend USD 8 or 9 million to buy machines while incomes up to 2002 were not enough to pay salaries. From that moment, they have got rid of that crucial component of the cost structure of the casinos and somehow it started to cover it”, he remarked.
When asked about the USD 16 million loss, Bengoa said that this number is not real. “That figure is not real, because investments are not losses, neither in the private activity nor in the public activity. The only way to reach that number is to count a tender twice, and on top of counting those investments as losses, those things are both wrong, in my opinion”.
Bengoa assured that “When in 2000 we said that the staff was excessive, political contacts have been made, and the issue had been debated in all the entities, and the decision reached was that the staff reduction was to be made, but in a gradual way, and that the negative impact of that decision was to be supported.” He also commented that 600 workers left the casino in five years.
Finally, he said the has the support of the former mayor of the city and current Minister of Environment, Mariano Arana.