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Spain – Tenerife casinos accused of serious anomalies by local councillor

By - 8 May 2017

A number of serious infractions regarding the running of three public casinos the Playa de Las Américas, Casino Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Casino Taoro have been reported by a councillor for the Podemos (We Can) Party Julio Concepción.

Mr Concepción said that audits carried out on the casinos in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 have found a number of serious anomalies in the accounts which “are impermissible in public companies like these.” These breaches with current legislation had negatively affected the financial management, of the casinos which in turn he said had affected the hiring of staff and including in the most serious of cases irregularities in the granting of contracts for services.

“The management of these public companies even handpicked contracts outside of any legally established tender process,” he said.

“This legal violation that negatively affects the solvency of companies that supply goods and services is difficult to understand, because casino companies have sufficient liquidity and sufficient staff to meet their economic obligations in a timely manner,” he went onto say. Concepción said that contract irregularities affected almost all contracts including cleaning contracts, security, catering and advertising and said that legal action could be forthcoming.

During a general meeting regarding casinos held last Friday Concepción also stated that the economic data over recent years and, especially, for 2016, confirmed the high profitability of the casinos in Tenerife despite the efforts of the President of the Council of Tenerife Carlos Alonso to dismantle these public companies in order to privatise them.

Casino companies on the island closed 2016 with an increase in revenue of more than €500,000 and a decrease in expenses of another €500,000, which means in general terms that last year that income generated by these publicly owned companies stood at €13m.

In March Concepción asked the President of the Council to look into the contract for the three publically owned casinos on the island saying that the company which has the concession to run catering and bar services “performs a deplorable and lamentable” service. The accusations come at a time when the government is seeking to privatise the industry. While Concepción said that he was not in agreement with publically owned casinos they did at least guarantee high quality jobs.

In 2014 it was announced that the casinos in Tenerife were to be privatised with then newly elected President of the Council Carlos Alonso saying that he also supported plans to open casinos in hotels. Proposals put forward in 2014 would also see casino expansion in other hotels throughout Tenerife. However, unions and many officials have been against the move from the beginning and have delayed the process.

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