Chile – Termas de Chillán withdrawal goes aheadBy Phil - 11 November 2013
The Chilean Gaming Control Board (SCJ) will accept Termas de Chillan’s withdrawal from the market.
In a move which has been labelled as ” bad news” by the mayor of the municipality of Pinto, Fernando Chávez Guiñez, the end of the operator’s licence will be officially communicated next week by the SCJ’s Resolution Council which was made up the Secretary of the Treasury, Undersecretary of Regional Development , Undersecretary of Tourism, the Superintendent of Securities and Insurance and two representatives of the President.
The major pointed out that the decision means that the province of Ñuble could now lose out on the advantages of having a casino within its borders as the new licence can now be offered (with some restrictions) anywhere in Chile. Operators may now offer their tender provided that the project is not located in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, is not in a region which already has three casinos and is not located within 70 km from another already existing casino. As a result there is no guarantee that the new casino will be installed in the province. Indeed operators could well decide to look elsewhere given the poor results of the last casino in the region.
In October the operator of the Casino Termas de Chillán S.A . (J.L.Giner) announced that it was withdrawing from the market and blamed bad market conditions as well as the location of the casino for its decision. The withdrawal needed to be accepted by the Chilean Gaming Control Board before it went into effect.
The number of visitors to the casino had been steadily dropping from 16,082 in 2010 to 12,101 in 2012. The casino, located in a ski resort and popular tourist destination in the Bío Bío region was first granted a license in 2017 and its license was valid until 2022.The poor results derived partly from the fact that the casino was located in what is primarily a ski resort and as a result visitors were seasonal.
Before it closes the company must pay a number of fines. The casino has so far been fined with around 7m pesos and the SCJ has added an additional $33.232.960 pesos to the fines the company already faces. The company also faces charges revolving around its alleged failure to develop bingo from November 2012 to May 2013 as well as the reduction of its service capacity restaurant annex and a number of other charges including its alleged failure to adhere to the minimum of slot machines on its premises.