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Chile – Chile’s Head of Gaming Board reveals new details for licences

By - 20 March 2020

The Head of the Chilean Gaming control Board (SJC) Vivien Villagrán Acuña has revealed more details regarding the upcoming tender process. A number of casino licences are up for renewal meaning that operators can apply for a licence renewal or other operators may put in a bid. The 12 licenses will be available in the O’Higgins, Punta Arenas and the Antofagasta regions, among others regions.

Talking to Diario Financiero the official highlighted the challenges ahead. “It is a slightly more complex tender, with a map with certain characteristics and the first time it was a blank map. Now we have a certain infrastructure that forces us to generate a competitive process,” she said.

When it came to the bidding process, she said that “the SCJ has a maximum of 48 months before the expiration of the operating permit, and a minimum of 36 months to publish the technical bases that will govern the new process, this occurs on 28 July 2020. There are 12 casinos the licenses of which expire between 2023 and 2024.”
Law No. 19,995 (Chile’s casino law) created the board and put new casinos under its control. There are now 19 privately run casinos. Ten years after the establishment of the first privately run casino the SCJ was given the task of developing the licensing process for the called municipal licences – casinos which had been run by the local municipal governments and put them under the supervision of the board.

Now that this is complete the SJC is now launching the third major licensing process.

“When the industry started there were no casinos, they had to be built,” she said and had to “provide the infrastructure that was promised in the operating permits and develop comprehensive projects. In this new scenario there will be some people who are challenging or new entrants, who may have no casinos and would like to apply for a permit. And we are going to meet participants who are operating and who, most likely, are interested in renewing their permits. In addition, the economic offer will determine who is awarded or not a certain place. In the previous process, a comprehensive project was evaluated where the economic offer was not taken into account. A third factor will be that we now have certain places available, not the entire country as in the previous process. And we have a law in force that requires us to safeguard three basic conditions: that those casinos meet quotas in certain regions, we will never be able to have three casinos in one region, the casinos are not within a distance of less than 70 road kilometres and that casinos cannot be awarded in the Metropolitan Region.”

Earlier this month the SJC opened up the consultation stage of the draft of the Technical Bases of the Process for Granting Operating Permits 2020 for comments from industry and citizens. Once the public consultation stage is complete, the responses will be collected, a summary of the main clarifications along with the definitive terms and conditions will be published and the process will be officially initiated.

Comments on the proposal of technical evaluation of the bids will be received until April 9 through a form via www.scj.gob.cl/betchile, a platform created especially for the process. The platform will provide relevant information to those interested in applying for an operating permit. The website will also provide updates as the tender is underway. Current gaming casino operating companies may choose to participate in the process by applying for a renewal of their permits.

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