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Andorra – Andorran Government extends deadline to respond to complaints over tender

By - 6 November 2018

The Government of Andorra has extended the deadline in order to prepare its response to an appeal put forward by five of the operators who applied for but were denied the single casino licence in Andorra.

The Andorran Gaming Control Board (CRAJ) now has until November 27 to answer why it awarded the licence to Company Jocs SA to build and operate the new casino at the end of June. With 100 per cent capital coming from Andorra, the company plans to build the casino on Prat de la Creu street in the capital, Andorra la Vella.

On the one hand, it is good news for the operators, who were unsatisfied with the way the tender was handled as it means that the government is looking into the way the process was carried out. At the same time it may not be enough time to reverse the decision and the licence could well be awarded to the current winner.

According to local press, one of the appeals accuses the director of the gaming board, Xavier Bardina, of having interfered in the process. The appeal argues that Bardina exceeded his role in the process multiple times and that he made decisions that should have been made by evaluation board. The claims, if true, could be sufficient cause for the annulment of the entire process.

In October four of the groups that took part in the bidding process for the casino in Andorra requested legal safeguards from the government so that the granting of the license to the winner, be suspended as a precautionary measure. The four operators – Casinos Austria, Genting, Partouche and Cirsa – have asked the Andorran executive for the suspension of the licensing process until the resolution of the five appeals is made public (the fifth is from the Barrière group) they said in a statement.

Of the five complaints, four request the “complete nullity” of the awarding of the licence. If the Andorran Executive does not suspend the granting of the license, the companies have warned that the government will have to face “difficult or impossible compensation consequences.” Some of the subsequent legal action may involve compensation amounting to millions for the rest of the applicants who took part in the tender, according to the statement.

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