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Chile – Chile’s casino association slams move to delay licence renewals by 180 days

By - 26 November 2020

Chile’s gaming board, the Superintendency of Gambling Casinos (SCJ) has moved to suspend the process of renewing casinos licences until October 18, 2021 with a hearing for the presentation of technical and economic offers set for that date at the Hotel Great Palace of Santiago.

The board said the State of Constitutional Exception of Catastrophe due to public calamity, which is still in force due to the COVID-19 pandemic, played a part in its decision.

The SJC stated: “This 180-day postponement seeks to ensure adequate and informed preparation by applicants and renewers to the current process of granting their respective technical and economic offers, as well as greater competition in the aforementioned process, conditions that improve income prospects fiscal, regional and communal, so it is deemed appropriate to extend the suspension of the process of granting operating permits to ensure its effectiveness.”

The Chilean Association of Gaming Casinos said the actions of the Superintendency of Gaming Casinos have been ‘erratic and confusing.’

“In July, when the country was experiencing the worst part of the pandemic, it decided to launch an illegal bidding process. A month later, he chose to suspend the process for 90 days. Now, that the health situation seems to be under control and that the casinos already have the necessary protocols to reopen in the communes that are at least in the Preparation phase, the authority decides to postpone the bidding again, but now for 180 days,” it stated.

“As indicated in article 19 of the original Law 19,995, which is the law that applies to this process, the Association of Gambling Casinos reaffirms its vision that the bidding should start between 240 and 210 days prior to the end of the gaming permits. each operator , a situation that will occur between 2022 and 2023.”

It added: “The Superintendency of Casinos insists on maintaining and defending an incorrect bidding model, when what corresponds is to apply the current law and advance a process that respects the existing rules when the State of Chile invited us to invest in this sector. Given the great uncertainty that affects this sector, it is urgent that the authority safeguard the path of legal certainty.”

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