New Casinos Could Be Uruguay’s Answer To Economic Downturn

The President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, has met with Tourism Minister Germán Cardoso to formulate new plans to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 financial crisis.

One of the suggested steps resulting from the meeting calls for two new integrated resorts to be constructed in Rocha and Canelones. Nevertheless, the minister confirmed that the planning process can not begin until the health emergency is over.

Uruguay’s tourism has been one of the worst affected business sectors, a situation compounded by confusion over whether and when local and international flights will start again. Nonetheless, the ministry considers it a first step to improve the internal tourism sector, primarily hoping to draw Brazilian and Argentinian visitors.

The draft is already in the works for companies involved in bidding for the licence in Canelones and will be released in the coming months. The planned resorts are likely to be near Atlántida beach, according to the ministry, though other possibilities have yet to be ruled out.

The Uruguayan government is also considering deferment of compensation for the tourism sector and ‘extending unemployment insurance for workers.’ Luis Gama, former head of the National Directorate of Lotteries and Quinielas of Uruguay (DNLQ), said earlier this month that Uruguay would get ready for the casino industry in Brazil, as the company will lose a large amount.

“We must not be oblivious to the developments that are taking place in our neighbouring countries, especially the gambling legalisation in Brazil. We should analyse the impact that it has in Uruguay and come up with policies to retain those players,” he stated.

“The new scenario will require a lot of effort not to perceive a decline in activity in those border and tourist places where the participation of foreign players is key to sustain the business.”