19 slot halls will close in Guayaquil

Around 19 slot halls will have to stop operating after the decision that changed the law that prevented casinos to operate in regenerated zones in Guayaquil. The measure will also affect nine casinos located in the area.

According to data of the Tourist Deputy Ministership, around 40 slot halls operate in an illegal way because they do not have the records granted for them in order to work.

Esteban Delgado, Deputy Minister of Tourism, explained that the Ministry has just acknowledged the legality of casinos but not of the gambling venues that are outside hotels. „We have tried to stop the operation of these centres with closures, but actions have been evaded by constitutional appeals for protection“, he said.

According to Delgado, the decision to stop the operation of casinos and slots in regenerated zones is positive, but expects the problem not to pass to the popular sectors in which it would be harmful for the citizenship.

Local legislator Octavio Villacreses affirmed that, in order to perform this action, they did not need to do any survey, because there are local laws to regulate on the matter. He affirmed that he does not agree with the law in the sense that it establishes special zones for this activity. „We need all the games of chance to leave the city“, he added.

The president of the Casino and Bingo Association in Ecuador (Ascabi), Aston Lowndes, said that the results of the survey may not be put on top of the current law which regulates all the casinos in Guayaquil. The Association expects the publication of the new law in order to be passed.

In spite of the suspension of the construction, Tesupe expects the legal notification of Guayaquil Council or Fundación Malecón 2000 in order to have a reaction on the matter. It also expects the council to guarantee and respect the licenses granted to them for the construction, according to spokeswoman María Clara Triviño.