A proposal by Robert L. Johnson (pictured here with former President George W. Bush), the majority owner and founder of Caribbean CAGE, LLC, a leading route-installed gaming company headquartered in Puerto Rico, outlines a $14bn 20-year revenue plan that can be immediately implemented by the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury, according to G3 Newswire.
The plan by the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and RLJ Companies calls for eliminating and converting approximately 100,000 illegal gambling machines and replacing them with some 30,000 government regulated and authorized video lottery terminals (VLTs). For tax transparency, collection and compliance purposes, the VLTs would be connected to the Puerto Rico Treasury Department, according to the news agency.
The letter written by Johnson to the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury details the CAGE’s professional expertise and financial capability. The CAGE Team consists of Aristocrat Gaming, Scientific Games, IGT/GTECH, and Inspire Gaming, four of the world’s largest gaming companies. The proposal by CAGE includes telecommunications company Claro and Banco Popular, both local Puerto Rico firms.
Johnson states in his letter, “The CAGE Team has spent several years researching and developing a legal VLT-gaming platform and operational system for Puerto Rico, much like those that exist in 12 States in the United States. Not only is the CAGE Team committed to investing in Puerto Rico and the people of Puerto Rico, we are also encouraged by the political and business leaders in Puerto Rico who recognize the necessity for Puerto Rico to rid itself of its underground economy, like non-taxable gambling, and deploy a legal system that would generate much-needed revenue for economic development, job creation, and improve education and social services. I am convinced that the government of Puerto Rico is committed to a transparent and accountable economic and financial system and will welcome the business opportunity we propose,” as reported by the news agency.
The recent letter comes after the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury in May suspended plans to legalize up to 100,000 VLTs, in a plan submitted by CAGE in 2015, until resolution of lawsuits brought by the Association of Slot Machines Owners and the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA). Victor Pizarro, Internal Revenue Assistant Secretary for the Department Of Treasury, announced the decision earlier this year after Johnson published a letter criticizing the government for failing to respond to the proposal submitted over a year ago.
CAGE, which focuses on the installation, operation and management of VLTs, gaming content and linked gaming systems throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, has obtained licenses or rights for the operation of VLTs in the Dominican Republic, Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis.