The Financial Institutions Commissioner (known as OCIF for its initials in Spanish) announced Thursday it issued a “Cease and Desist” order against Hotel Campomar and Restaurant in Toa Baja, and its president Carlos Fuentes, for operating an unlicensed gambling hall.
Agency officials uncovered four separate violations to the Puerto Rico Gambling law that carry fines of $5,000 each, the agency said.
“At the OCIF we watch out for compliance with laws,” Financial Institutions Commissioner Rafael Blanco said. “Casino games are regulated and we take action when we detect locations operating outside the law.”
The order dated Sept. 19 states that OCIF investigators visited the property and saw the room equipped with 16 slot machines, as well as signage — all prohibited by the Puerto Rico Gambling Law. According to the hotel’s website, the casino opens seven days a week.
“Hotel Campomar operates slot machines in a gambling hall without holding a gaming franchise issued by the OCIF, going against the provisions of section 2 of Law 221,” the order stated.
Furthermore, OCIF staff also detected violations to regulations that provides that “no person shall own or operate a gaming room if a franchise has not been issued first to each and every one of the people entitled to qualify or are required to do so under this section.”
The OCIF required Fuentes to stop operating the gambling hall and remove any signs posted. He was also ordered to produce, within ten days after receipt of the order, a written and notarized affidavit stating he has complied with the agency’s determination.
He was also ordered to take the strictest security measures to keep in a safe place all documents and files, as well as evidence related to the gambling hall’s operations.
In light of the fines that add up to $20,000, the hotel has the right to show cause as to why the sanction should not be imposed. The property owners can also ask the OCIF for a hearing.