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Chile – Head of Chilean Gaming Board highlights changes to the industry

By - 2 September 2015

The Head of the Chilean Gaming Control Board (SCJ), Renato Hamel, has pointed out the importance of the municipal licences in a round of meetings in Hong Kong and Macau.

The sessions have been organised by the Committee on Foreign Investment as part of Chile Week 2015, a trade and Investment seminar attended by 120 local business people.

The Head of the SJC met with a number of investors, to publicise the casino industry and new processes for the granting licenses at the end of next year. The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, has signed into law new regulations, which extend the licenses of the seven municipal casinos in Chile. The new rules extend the licenses until December 2017 in the districts of Vina del Mar, Arica, Iquique, Puerto Varas, Coquimbo, Pucon and Puerto Natales, which all expired on December 31, 2015.

However, once these licences expire the statute provides that from that date onwards, those municipalities will continue to be a home to a casino for a total of three periods of 15 years each and the new casinos will come under the supervision of the SJC. This will herald in a number of new large scale casinos especially as a number of the municipal casino licenses, such as the licence for Vina del Mar, are located in the most popular local tourists destinations.

Mr. Hamel said that highlighting these changes to the industry to investors was of paramount importance as later this year new processes for the granting of operating licenses for casinos in the seven municipalities will begin. “We expect a large number of both domestic and foreign investors interested in participating in these tender processes, so that there is a high level of competition and strong offers,” he said.

Mr. Hamel also emphasised the importance of the recent amendment to the Law on Casinos, as it “will allow it (the board) to carry out the process of the granting of licences for casinos through more objective and transparent criteria and from a strengthened institution.”

Chile Week is organised by the General Directorate of International Economic Relations (DIRECON) in Shanghai and Beijing. During the week, Chile’s Foreign Investment Committee’s organised a series of activities and focused on promoting investments in a number of business sectors. Chile Week attracted more than 300 Chinese business people interested in learning about investment opportunities in Chile.

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