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Chile – Controversy refusing to leave Chillán Casino

By - 15 December 2015

Controversy continues to grow over the tender process for the casino license in Chillán with General Manager of Marina del Sol, Juan Ignacio Ugarte, claiming that the Spanish-Argentine consortium Boldt Peralada is putting undue pressure on Undersecretary of the Treasury Chile, Alejandro Micco.

“We understand that the Secretary is being put under pressure by Boldt. We hope that this pressure does not make him deviate from the final purpose of the Resolution Council, which is to assign the casino to who has submitted the best project,” he said.
Mr Ugarte alluded to a letter sent to the Undersecretary in which the counsel for Peralada Boldt, Ricardo Abdala described the judicial processes in the Court of Appeals of Concepción and another process currently ongoing in the Supreme Court. Additionally, the letter requests that the Resolution Council, headed by the Undersecretary, “maintains or orders the suspension of this process as long as there are judicial and / or administrative appeals pending.”

In November the SCJ came out against reports in local media which had claimed that it had failed to deliver a report to the proper authorities on time which would have ruled out Chilean-Canadian operator Marina del Sol from the bidding process for a casino in Chillan. The newest claims now emerging in local media will only serve to being more controversy to a process which has been fraught with difficulties ever since Termas de Chillán withdrew from the market in 2013.

The Chilean Gaming Board officially accepted Termas de Chillán’s withdrawal in November 2013 after the operator blamed bad market conditions as well as the location of the casino for its decision to close. In July 2014 Dreams announced its decision to withdraw its application with company spokesman saying that that the process had been fraught with irregularities.

Later that year a court put the tender process on hold after Bold-Peralada appealed to a local court claiming that the Regional Government had gone beyond its remit when awarding it 0 points while awarding 300 points to Marina del Sol. Lawyers acting on behalf of the company claimed that the Regional Government had no right to award points on the basis of technicalities. As a result the Chilean Gaming control Board (SJC) requested a report on the voting process in the Regional Council.

However this month the Regional Council of Bio Bio rejected the proposal put forward by the Boldt-Peralada group for the third time. After the decision Mr Ricardo Abdala said that he did not rule out going back to the Court of Appeals of Concepción to contest the decision, which if accepted could bring the process to a fourth ballot.

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