Argentina Casinos to Undergo Major Reforms

For decades, casinos around the world have employed measures to keep gamblers playing longer, such as lowering the temperature or cutting off light from the outside world. The rules are changing though, and a province in Argentina is forcing all of its gambling properties to make some serious upgrades.

Hotel Casino Magic in Neuquen, Argentina
Hotel Casino Magic in Neuquen, Argentina
Hotel Casino Magic in Neuquen, Argentina, at dusk. It and other gambling properties in the province are going to have to make physical changes to comply with new regulations. (Image: Choice Casino)

To help gamblers lose track of time, many casinos don’t have clocks anywhere near the gaming areas. They also keep the gaming floors away from natural light, which prevents players from knowing what time it is.

In response, Macau, some parts of Australia, and other regions have ordered the installation of timers on slot machines to increase awareness of responsible gambling practices. Casinos in Argentina’s Neuquén province aren’t there yet. B ut they’re going to have to begin tearing down certain walls.

Let the Light Shine

The casinos, bingo halls, and gambling halls of the provincial capital must now install clocks on their walls so gamblers know what time it is. In addition, all of the facilities will have to figure out how to install windows so natural light can come in.

A new ordinance just approved by the Deliberative Council of Neuquén requires all gambling establishments to incorporate visible clocks every 10 meters (32 feet), as well windows for sunlight. Enforcing the rules will be the Undersecretary of Commerce of the Municipality of Neuquén, according to local media, or a body that replaces it in the future.

Gambling establishments have 90 days from the enactment of the ordinance to adapt to the new regulations. Otherwise, the Undersecretary could shut them down for noncompliance until they make the required changes.

When the council put the rules to a vote, the measure met significant resistance, with only eight of the 15 councilors participating voicing their approval. If history is a guide, this means enforcement may be problematic.

Neuquén Focuses 0n Responsible Gambling

Neuquén’s gaming regulator is taking the lead on responsible gambling in Argentina. The Institute of Games of Chance of Neuquén (IJAN, for its Spanish acronym) just wrapped up its second conference on behavioral addictions last month, a series designed to provide education and awareness to area youth.

The IJAN organized the conference in conjunction with the Secretariat of Citizenship and Undersecretary of Health of the Municipality of Neuquén. The meetings focused on alternative proposals for leisure time and school vacations. The central idea was to be able to understand responsible participation in virtually any activity. The conference also presents information on how to identify addictive risk indicators.

At the beginning of last month, the IJAN successfully passed an external audit of gambling regulators in Argentina. The audit measures how the entities oversee their operations and address responsible gambling in their regions.

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