Panama: Supreme Court declares illegal the operation of 12 slot gaming halls of the CIRSA Group

Chamber III of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama issued a ruling in which it declared illegal the operation of 12 Type A slot machines rooms owned by Grupo CIRSA -under the name Fantastic Casino-, located in the districts of Panama and Arraiján.

According to the ruling, made available to Yogonet, the Panamanian court declared “that the third clause and numeral four of Clause Four of the Complementary Addendum No. 1 of the Administration and Operation Contract of the Type A Slot Machine Rooms, subscribed between the Gaming Control Board of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Gaming & Services de Panamá S.A. is illegal.”

Said declaration of illegality, issued on August 16, 2023, was given in response “to the Warning of Illegality filed by Mr. Herbert Young Rodríguez, acting on behalf and in the representation of Hípica de Panamá S.A.,” property of the Codere Group.

From the ruling, Young estimated that the Gaming Control Board, the regulator of the sector in Panama, “must order the transfer of 11 of the 20 Type A Machine Halls currently located in the designated area.”

“This declaration of illegality would be an excellent precedent so that the regulations of the gaming industry in Panama are respected, and legal security is provided to the investment of the rest of the gaming operators in Panama,” the lawyer added.

Likewise, it pointed out that “although the CIRSA Group has requested a clarification of the ruling, this does not change the result of the illegality decreed, which obliges the Gaming Control Board to enforce the ruling in the form and terms it establishes.”

This, he added, is due to the fact that “no administrative act revoked by Chamber III of the Supreme Court of Justice may be reproduced by the corporation or official that issued it if it preserves the essence of the same provisions that were revoked.”

Although the Gaming Control Board has not issued an opinion on the declaration of illegality, Young warned that “it is expected that it will fully execute the ruling under the protection of the law, giving full and due effect to everything that requires its compliance and, therefore, recognizing the claims made by the Codere Group when formulating its illegality claim.”