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Grupo Globalia Plans Casino Expansion In The Dominican Republic

grupo globaliaGrupo Globalia, a Spanish company operating in the tourism industry recently announced that it is exploring options to increase its investments in the casino industry of the Dominican Republic.

Juan José Hidalgo, Executive President of Grupo Globalia has created a new entity called the Riverbound Investment. The new company will be used to tap into opportunities to set up casinos in hotels that are already owned by the company and its partners but are currently lacking a casino. It will also look for standalone casinos as well as other casinos that are not part of its group and currently operational on the island and will leverage these casinos to expand its gambling business in the Dominican Republic.

Local media reports state that this new initiative by the company is an attempt to increase its market share. The group currently operates a chain of hotels called Be Live and Dominicus the only independent casino in the country. The Be Live Hotel chain has around six hotels spread across key cities in the country. The group has so far invested over $400 million into the casino market of Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is said to be one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean and is the most visited location in the Caribbean. The country has around 30 casinos which is the highest number of casinos in any country in the Caribbean. The largest casino in the Dominican Republic is the Hard Rock casino which is located in Punta Cana.

Casino operators have been concentrating on expanding their facilities in the country in order to capture more market share in the gambling industry. The Hard Rock has announced a new project called the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Santo Domingo which will be located in the capital city of Santo Domingo. Spanish operator CIRSA announced in August 2015 that it was planning to expand in the country with its acquisition of the Grand Victoria Casino in the city of Santiago.

But despite the booming tourism industry, gambling revenues are declining year-on-year. According data collected by The Directorate General of Internal Taxes (DGII) tax revenues in 2015 declined in the first four months by 6.7 percent as compared to the same period in 2014.

The decline is largely said to have been caused by the prevalence of illegal slot machines in the country. Slot machines have flourished over the past few years despite crackdowns by authorities on illegal gambling operations. According to recent estimates almost 10,000 to 30,000 illegal slot machines are said to be present in illegal slot parlors, bars, restaurants and other small businesses.

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