Anytime we raise the issue of Uruguay casinos, it usually has something to do with the glitz and glamour of Punta del Este.
Sure, coastal casinos like the Conrad are high-profile moneymakers, but what about the rest of Uruguay? Not unlike the trend we are seeing with real estate developers and franchise owners in Argentina, the smart money in Uruguay is looking to the interior.
Manteo, a consortium of developers from Argentina and Uruguay have banded together to invest US$32 million in the construction and modernization of the Casino de Rivera, an aging casino located in the northernmost tip of Uruguay bordering Brazil. Rivera may not be as flashy as Punta, but the city has a Duty Free Zone and tons of inbound traffic from both sides of the border. On a recent Thursday during Holy Week, over 30,000 people descended on Rivera in 8,200 cars and 140 buses.
Manteo’s focus will be on keeping the existing customer base happy and expanding Rivera’s appeal to high rollers. “We want to attract high net worth visitors, so we are going to build a five-star hotel and casino similar to what you would find in Las Vegas, not just in terms of gaming, but also in the quality of shows and restaurants,” said Manteo’s Director of Marketing Raul Sarasola in an interview with Danilo Ucha of Brazil’s Jornal do Comercio. (Full Story in Portuguese)