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Chile – EGASA making progress with Arica casino bid

By - 11 July 2014

Plans to build a large scale casino in Chile are moving afoot with the Regional Council approving plans by Spanish gaming group EGASA to operate in a newly built residential area in the city of Arica.

The port city of Arica has a population of just under 200,000 people and is located in the Arica Province of northern Chile’s Arica and Parinacota Region. There is currently only one another casino in the region: a municipal casino which has 345 slot machines and 12 gaming tables.

The Regional Council has given the green light for the new casino, which if approved by the Chilean Gaming Control Board (SJC), will be located near to the already existing casino in the city. The Casino Luckia, will include 350 slot machines, 12 gaming tables as well as 60 bingo seats and will be part of a 5 star hotel with 80 rooms. Combined investment for the hotel and casino stands at U.S$40m. The location will be in the Arica city centre, near to the Casino Arica.

The mayor of Arica Emilio Rodriguez greeted the news saying that the casino would be instrumental in boosting tourism in the area, which was part of the main conditions under which a new casino would be permitted to operate. President of the Regional Council Raúl Castro said that it was “great news” adding that the five star hotel would add to tourist infrastructure. The new casino will be aimed at not only attracting local residents but also residents from southern Peru and Bolivia as well as from other nearby provinces in Chile such as Antofagasta and Calama.

Arica is permitted to house a casino because of an amendment in Chile’s gaming law which was passed in 2000. Chilean gaming law states that there may be 24 casinos in Chile including the so called seven municipal casinos which are run by the local municipalities where they are located and are a vital source of funding locally. It is now up to the SJC to give the go ahead for the new casino as it is the Gaming Board which has the final say on the issue.

EGASA’s journey in the casino industry began with share holdings in Casino de Mallorca and Casino Bilbao in association with Grupo Nervion.

Subsequently with the offering of new casino licenses in Chile, application was made and a license was awarded for the operation of a casino in the city of Copiapo. Our Gran Casino de Copiapó is in fact part of our integrated entertainment resort Antay Casino & Hotel.

The company concurrently entered the Croatian market under the Golden Sun Casino brand, with casinos opened in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Pula and Osijek. In March 2013 Luckia Casino was opened in Peru situated in Lima’s Mega Plaza Mall. In addition, EGASA has two other casinos, Zamba in the town of Medellin, Colombia and Casino La Toja in Pontevedra, Spain.

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