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Andorra – Second place Barrière says it should have Andorran licence

By - 11 March 2019

French gaming group Barrière, which together with its partner the Andorran company Lleure 3D has filed a lawsuit against The Andorran Gaming Control Board (CRAJ) after it decided to cancel the award to Andorran company Jocs SA.

The partnership between Lleure 3D and Barrière came in second in the tender and according to a statement has “everything that is legally requested” ready to begin construction and begin management of the country’s first casino. They were one of three groups who wanted to develop a casino at the congress centre.

The statement went onto say that it already has land available to it to start work on the project with no legal procedures standing in the way. In addition there is no reason that the licensing process should turn out to be a “failure for the country” and that the terms and conditions make it clear that the regulator had the obligation to award the license.

From the Barrière group, the Expansion Manager, Gilles Meillet, highlighted the fact that Andorra was a good place to develop a casino and has potential.

Lawyer for the company, Benjamín Pujol, argued that the terms of the licence procedure makes it obligatory for the gaming board to grant the license and presented the complaint at the end of February. According to Pujol the appeal against the decision independently, does not have suspensive effects on the licensing process and the board therefore must comply with what is stated in the bidding documents.

According to Pujol, the bases of the tender “clearly state that it has the obligation to grant the license and can only not do so when there is a public interest reason not to.” Lleure 3D considers “that this reason does not exist” and that the project has to move forward.

At the end of January CRAJ made a last minute reversal and suspended the granting of the license to Andorran company Jocs SA.

According to the official statement , the regulator made that decision during a meeting, after finding “deficiencies” in the file presented by Jocs put forward in July, and that the public body has been evaluating the licence ever since. According to the board, the company did not comply with the regulations and the conditions stipulated in the tender as it could not prove the reservation of the trade name Casino de les Valls as well as the corresponding trademark registration, which “had to be valid for the entire license concession.”

Also, the board noted differences between the architectural project presented in the initial offer and the one that was finally validated by the Architects Association of Andorra in December. The first, according to the board, contained elements that had helped the company win the tender.

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