Casinos: Shady and dubious billionaire Business

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In 2014 a total of 23 casino enterprises won 16.2 billion pesos. Among the most profitable and without any sanctions is the company of Rodríguez Borgio, allegedly linked to drug trafficking. The Spanish firm Codere being the leader of the gambling business. With valid permits there are over a thousand gambling establishments.

Nancy Flores, @nancy_contra/ Part 1 of 2

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Out of the 32 companies with permits to operate casinos in Mexico, Comercial de Juegos de la Frontera, SA de CV, is the one having the most income individually (4,300 million pesos annually), while the Spanish subsidiary Codere –associate or owner of eight companies with permits- is the conglomerate that leads the gambling business nationwide, both in number of gambling centers as well as in utilities.

In total the Secretariat of the Interior (Segob) throughout its General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries has granted permits for the establishment and operation of 1,038 lottery centers and remote gambling centers, of which there are at least 357 establishments operating.

Despite being vulnerable to the offense of money laundering, their profitable businesses have scarce surveillance: the sanctions imposed for the irregularities in its operations are minimal, and they are not even subject to the special fiscal regime, in accordance with their billionaire benefits.

The most profitable enterprise as such, Comercial de Juegos de la Frontera, belongs to the brothers Francisco Javier and Oscar Rodríguez Borgio, pointed out since 2012 by the federal authorities to be allegedly linked with organized crime.

According to a rapport of the Center of Investigation and National Security (CISEN) which was made accessible, the casinos would have served to launder money of the Gulf Cartel, and the 60 establishments of the Grupo Gasolinero México, for presumed sale of stolen fuel to Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) (Contralinea Issue No. 380).

Even the impresario Francisco Javier would have been fugitive from justice after facing an arrest warrant for alleged forging of a permit of the Adjunct Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries of the Secretariat of the Interior, with which he would be operating some of his casinos and gambling centers, facts that were set down in the process 324/2012 of the Criminal Court 22 of the Federal District.

Nevertheless in the registers of the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries, his brother Oscar Rodríguez Borgio remains presenting himself as the legal representative of Comercial de Juegos de la Frontera. Moreover the Directorate of the Segob does not register any procedure against any of the brothers nor their company, reveals the response to the request of public information 0000400046115 made by Contralinea.

What the federal authorities do inform on are the billionaire benefits of the group: in the fiscal year of 2014, the company reported net income of 4,300,021,643 pesos, of which there was a gross utility of 456,232,733 pesos. The payment of taxes barely was set at 11,950,499 pesos.

According to the official information, Comercial de Juegos de la Frontera operates under the permit DGG/723/97, that dates from the 18th of December 1997, with an unlimited validity. This company operates 18 remote gambling centers with a lottery hall issuing numbers called Big Bola.

The halls are located in Ahome, Sinaloa; in Álvaro Obregón, the Federal District (two establishments), Atizapán, Metepec, Naucalpan, Tlalnepantla and Huixquilucan, State of Mexico; Córdoba, Orizaba, Tuxpan, Xalapa and Boca del Río, Veracruz; Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche; León and Celaya, Guanajuato; Querétaro, Querétaro; and San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora.

While in business, the only process that occurred in the period 2013-2014 according to Segob was the administrative process AJP/0051/13-VI, to clarify the prize draw of a car, the performance of the roulette, black jack, as well as the delivery of the prize draw, without incurring in any sanction.

The scarce surveillance by the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries over this company is in stark contrast with the acting of the Attorney’s General Office of Mexico (PGR) around other companies of the Rodríguez Borgio brothers. In 2014 it seized the accounts overseas of the GGM Energy that were allegedly linked with Oceanografía of Amado Yáñez (Alfredo Méndez, La Jornada, 22nd of October 2014). Furthermore, according to the Quadratin Agency in February 2012 members of the PGR inspected the premises of the Grupo Gasolinero Mexicano to find evidence of stolen fuel.

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Codere México

Globally seen, the leading company in the business sector is Codere México, that describes itself as “the most important company in the gambling industry in the country”, due to –it states- “the distribution of activity and the number of establishments” it owns.

Despite that there is no permit assigned directly to operate casinos, it is the one with the most income: in 2014 it reported benefits for 341.9 million euros (around 5,983.25 million pesos at an exchange rate of 17.5 pesos for a euro) originating from the Mexican subsidiary.

Yet Codere Mexico is owner of Promojuegos de México, SA de CV; Mio Games, SA de CV; Libros Foráneos, SA de CV; Operadora Cantabria, SA de CV; Operadora de Espectáculos Deportivos, SA de CV; Recreativos Marina, SA de CV; and is associated to Administradora Mexicana de Hipódromo, SA de CV; and of Grupo Caliente (Operadora de Apuestas Caliente, SA de CV, e Hipódromo de Agua Caliente, SA de CV).

According to its own entrepreneurial information, in total it accounts for 17,414 gambling devices, 84 establishments, 73 gambling points and one racetrack. “All activities are run under the trade marks Royal Yak, Yak, Jackpot, Mio Games, Bingo 777, Casino Bingo 777, Caliente and Hipódromo de las Américas”, is stated on its web page.

In terms of each company, the second most profitable company is precisely Administradora Mexicana de Hipódromo, linked to Codere. According to information provided by the Segob to its own licensees in 2014 the subsidiary company of Impulsora de Centros de Entretenimiento de Las Américas, SAPI de CV, reported net income of 4,064,772,084 pesos.

The company –that was part of the conglomerate Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, of Alejandro Soberón Kuri- estimated its gross utility for this fiscal year in 851,830,305 pesos, and the tax on the rent (ISR) was fixed in 103,543,445 pesos, of which it put off 12,598,586 pesos.

In 2013 its net income summed 4,312,683,674 pesos, and its gross utility was set at 977,543,838 pesos. Shortly before ending the administration of Felipe Calderón, in 2012 they received two licenses: on the 10th of September, throughout the document DGJS/SCEV/1097/2012, it was authorized the intake of bets and lotteries via internet, telephone or electronically in exchange of 0.25 per cent in concept of participations; and on the 26th of November 2012, under the terms of the document DGJS/SCEV/PT-19/2012, it was authorized the installation, operation and functioning of slot machines to be operated in establishments endorsed by Segob.

Another asset of Codere is the Racetrack of Agua Caliente, of the Grupo Caliente, that reported total income in 2014 for 2,599,238,211 pesos and a gross utility of 748, 772 thousand pesos. The taxes it should have paid in this fiscal year ascend to only 64,113,443 pesos.

On February 2015 the enterprise also linked to the PRI-Affiliated politician Jorge Hank Rhon was sanctioned after that the administrative process AJP/0049/2014-VI was resolved for consistent irregularities of not delivering promptly to the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries the rapport of the incomes and payment of participations corresponding to the federal treasury to which the Article No. 5 of the Federal Law of Gambling and Lotteries.

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Among the most profitable companies in 2014 also is Operadora Cantabria, SA de CV. The subsidiary of Codere is located fifth in position, reporting income of 973, 504,618 pesos. The payment of taxes on utilities was fixed in only 21,792,549 pesos.

The benefits in 2014 of the rest of the enterprises linked to Codere are not despicable: i.e. Libros Foráneos reports an income of 434, 037,810 pesos and taxes on utilities for 3,003,796 pesos.

That year Operadora de Espectáculos Deportivos reported income for 211,165,653 pesos and paid taxes on utilities of barely 2,676,947 pesos.

In the case of Mio Games, which is identified as a subsidiary of Grupo Inverjuego, SAPI de CV, had income of 31, 035,369 pesos. It paid on taxes over utilities 127,794 pesos. On the 23rd of November 2012, throughout the permit DGJS/SCEV/PT-07/2012, it authorized the use of slot machines.

Two companies of Codere failed to clarify their incomes: Promojuegos de México and Recreativos Marina. In the first case until today, it has not made public its annual rapport 2014. It its trimestral rapport October-December, it reports that a total of assets for 176,671,726 pesos. Recreativa Marina only informed of total assets for 86,323,712 pesos.

In the case of Operadora de Apuestas Caliente, which is identified in its financial status as a subsidiary of Turística Akalli, SA de CV, an income of 45,490,065 pesos, while the taxes it paid ascended to 6,573,176 pesos.

The most profitable companies

Individually after Comercial de Juegos de la Frontera-of the Rodríguez Borgio brothers-, of Administradora Mexicana de Hipódromo and Hipódromo de Agua Caliente- both linked to Codere-, is found the Company of Marco Antonio Ayala Anzaldua and Antonio Ochoa Garzza, Comercializadora de Entretenimiento de Chihuahua, SA de CV. This Company reported 1,024,068,700 pesos of income of bets in 2014, of which it had a gross utility of 91,340,980 pesos.

On the 26th of November 2012, throughout the permit DGJS/SCEV/PT-11/12, the company was authorized to operate slot machines in all of its establishments.

In the fourth place in profitability is located Apuestas Internacionales, SA de CV, subsidiary of Televisa Juegos, SA de CV, that the past year reported an income of 795,420 thousand pesos, while in 2013 it was 828,950 thousand pesos. In 2014 it reported the payment of taxes of only 70,024 thousand pesos.

In the sixth position, after Operadora Cantabria (of Codere), is Atracciones y Emociones Vallarta, SA de CV –property of Casino Royale-, that reported total sales of 630,460,075 pesos, of which its net utility, according to its financial status, ascended to 6,238,819 pesos, and the taxes in7,757,311 pesos.

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The rest of the market

Despite that in 2014 the Mexican economy faced recession, the financial statuses by the those running casinos to the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries revealed millionaire benefits in most of the cases. Nevertheless it did not issue an annual rapport, in its general balance at the closing of this year Promociones e Inversiones de Guerrero, SAPI de CV, refers to total assets of 1,292,198,810 pesos.

Juega y Juega, SA de CV reported a net income of 358,212,553 pesos and a utility before taxes of 94,920,527 pesos. In concept of the income tax (ISR) it paid 30,746,224 pesos.

The total income of Grupo Oceano Haman, SA de CV ascended to 286,583,435 pesos, while its utilities were set at 282,074,631 pesos. In 2015 an administrative process was started (AJP/0031/15-VI) for “alleged irregularities consisting of not delivering promptly to the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries the income rapport and payment of participations, regarding several months of 2014”.

Espectáculos Latinoamericanos Deportivos, SA de CV reported an income of 172,075,515 pesos in 2014, of which the gross utility were estimated at 166,045,567 pesos, while the taxes were set at barely 778,151 pesos.

In its short status of results, Divertimex, SA de CV whose representative is Faustino Islas Ponce, informs that his income ascended to 123,792 thousand pesos.

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Cesta Punta Deportes whose representative is José María Guardia also presents a short status of the financial situation of the casino. This company accounts for total assets of 69,617,196 pesos. In 2013, the company face an administrative process (AJP/0087/2013-VIII) for consistent irregularities in the opening of the establishment known as Atlantic, in Boca del Río, Veracruz, of the operating company Siol, SA de CV, without relying on the corresponding authorization. The process was resolved against his interests, by ruling the total and definite closure of the establishment.

The income of Impulsora Geminis, SA de CV ascended to 48,090,250 pesos and its gross utilities were set at 47,520,835 pesos. In the area of the income tax presented by the company to Segob it is reported to be null.

El Palacio de los Números, SA de CV –property of Eduardo Luis Laris Rodríguez, Ramón Aznar González and Oscar Paredes Arroyo- reports an income of 40,402,869 pesos in 2014. That year an administrative process was initiated (AJP/0028/15-IV) for “alleged irregularities consisting of not delivering promptly to the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries the income rapport and the payment of participations”. Since the 26th of November 2012 it holds a permit to operate slot machines.

In 2014, Espectáculos Deportivos de Cancún, SA de CV reported a gross utility of 25,817,086 pesos. The total income of Eventos Festivos de México, SA de CV summed up 657,731 pesos, while the circulating assets were set at 68,449,251 pesos. During 51 days of operation, Pur Umazal Tov, SA de CV reported net income of 26,354,253 pesos, of which the gross utility was set at 21,194,955 pesos and the income tax (ISR) at 214,938 pesos. This company was established on the 28th of August 2014 with the purpose of operating gambling halls of numbers and a sports betting and prize drawing saloon through electronic devices.

The permits on which it operates were granted on the 27th of November 2014 by the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries of the Segob. This company is associated to El Palacio de los Números. Its stackeholders are Shalom Vehatzlaja Raba, SA de CV; Juegos y Espectáculos Win, SA de CV, Organización Mazal, SA de CV, Operadora con Bejara, SA de CV; Operadora Briut Ubrajá, SA de CV; Buen Mazal del Norte, SA de CV; ; Controladora de Juegos Mazal, SA de CV; Buen Mazal de México, SA de CV; Loto Win, SA de CV; Operadora Win, SA de CV; Administradora, SA de CV; Mazalico, SA de CV; Briut Ubrajá, SA de CV; Entretenimiento y Diversiones Selectas, SAPI de CV; Nes Gadol, SA de CV; Siempre con Buen Mazal, SA de CV; y Diversiones Win, SA de CV.

Producciones Móviles, SA de CV, registered total incomes of 9,676,085 pesos and set its utility in 5,829,053 pesos. The income tax paid ascended to 377,100 pesos. Between 2013 and the time being in 2015, this company has faced the most judicial and administrative processes: 27 in total.

In 2014, Sabia Corporation, SA de CV reported a total income of 6,590,184 pesos while it set its taxes at zero pesos. Its permit, DGJS/DGAJ/DEV/P-01/2014 was granted on the 16th of January 2014 to operate a remote betting center with numbers with an expiration of 10 years.

Juegos y Sorteos de Jalisco, SA de CV had a gross utility of 5,933,206 pesos in 2014, while regarding the payment of taxes it did not reports any number. However in sources of financing it indicates as taxes to recover for the quantity of 319,091 pesos while in respect of taxes to pay it reports a lesser number: 201,059 pesos.

Currently the aforementioned company faces an administrative process, AJP/0017/15-III, for alleged irregularities consisting in not holding an authorization of the General Directorate of Gambling and Lotteries for the functioning of the establishment located at Camino Desierto de los Leones No. 52, premises H-1, H-2, H-3 and S-3, District of San Ángel, Mexico City, Federal District.

Those that don’t figure anymore

espectaculos-deportivos-300Despite of keeping valid their permits to operate casinos, four companies do not report their activity. Among them is Espectáculos Deportivos de Occidente, SA de CV whose representatives are Norberto Adrián Mantiñan Macouzet and Fernando Mendoza Chávez. Having ceased to present financial status in the second semester of 2013, when it reported total assets of 50 thousand pesos.

Espectáculos Deportivos Frontón México, SA de Cv represented by Jorge Herrera Gómez stil has not registered his activities; and Operadora de Coincidencias Numéricas, SA de CV, has not presented financial statuses.

Petolof, SA de CV could be in the same situation, as it reports its financial statuses net sales of 18,800 pesos (sic), and taxes for 5,641 pesos (sic). Last year this company faced an administrative process –AJP/0010/14-II- with the motivation of not being able to certify faithfully the legal operation of the establishment and its activities. On the 19th of December 2014 issued a resolution which determined to impose a fine and the definite closure of the establishment.

Nancy Flores, @nancy_contra

(Translated by: Axel Plasa)

 

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Contralínea 466 / del 07 al 13 de Diciembre 2015

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