Argentinian casino group Boldt is teaming up with Spanish entertainment company Invergaming to bid for the operating licence up for grabs in the town of Ovalle.
Their proposed project, Ovalle Casino Resort, would keep the licence in Ovalle, some 500 km north of the capital, Santiago, where its original recipient Casinos Austria International, had planned to develop. CAI relinquished the licence in March 2012, paving the way for the new licence tender.
A spokesperson for Boldt said: “The Boldt Group, in partnership with Invergaming firm, has decided to participate in the bidding for a casino license, proposing the town of Ovalle. Both companies have a strong track record in managing casinos in Spain, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and consider the Chilean market an interesting place to participate.”
Operators have until February 28 to the lodge their interest in the license with the Superintendent confirming their investment and proposed location. The final project details must be submitted before March 30 with the licence expected to be awarded in the summer.
Boldt runs five gaming properties located in Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Mar del Plata and Miramar whilst Invergaming has operations in Barcelona and other cities in Spain. The two groups have already partnered in developing casinos in Uruguay.
The tender is expected to be competitive. The Head of the Department of Community Planning for the Municipality of Ovalle, Angelo Montano, said there were three or four private companies showing real interest.
The 2013 Granting Process Operating Permit began on January 2. The bidding though is not limited to Ovalle. Interested operators can pitch their request anywhere in Chile that still has casinos available. Each region can have a maximum of three casinos, meaning the regions of Valparaíso, Bío Bío and Los Lagos are all off limits. But there are also geographical restrictions such as not allowing new style casinos in metropolitan areas or in the town of Arica. Casinos also have to be developed at least 70km from their nearest rival.
Currently 24 casinos are in operation in Chile, 17 of them were authorised by the Board Process Resolving in 2006 and 2008, while the remaining seven are for municipal grants.