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Uruguay – Giuseppe Cipriani gets go ahead for $200m casino hotel in Uruguay

By - 2 February 2022

Pablo Monsuárez a legal representative for the Cipriani group has signed the contract for a new hotel in Punta del Este. Italian businessman Giuseppe Cipriani had until last Friday to sign the contract for the licence of the new casino and hotel. The legal representative signed the agreement thus guaranteeing that work on the project will go ahead.

Monsuárez told newspaper El País that some changes had been made but that they were minor. The signing of the contract for the concession of the casino commits the Italian businessman to deposit a guarantee of US$7.8m, in a period not exceeding 10 days. Cipriani must now present his plan to the Municipality of Maldonado to finally start work on the land where the old San Rafael was demolished.

It is estimated that in total, the new operator will have to invest at least US$160m in the new project. The bidding document ruled that in order to build a new and similar enterprise in that area, the investment made for the Enjoy Hotel must be equalled or surpassed. The tender for the new casino was put on hold after representatives of Baluma S.A. the owners of the hotel and Casino Enjoy, (formerly known as the Conrad) lodged a last minute appeal to suspend the tender. The government rejected Enjoy’s appeal over the new Casino in February 2020.

The terms of the licence states that the amount to be invested in the construction of the new luxury hotel must be equal to or greater than US$160m, without taking into account the value of the land of the infrastructure for the new facility. However, Cipriani’s initiative for the first stage of construction foresees an investment of as much as US$ 200 million. The businessman reported in 2019 that, in a second stage, he would invest another US$200 million.

The signing of the contract took almost a month and was delayed twice. It is believed that the company could also be granted an online casino licence as well. 

The emblematic San Rafael hotel in Punta del Este, has been closed since 2011, but was acquired by the Cipriani Group for more than US$40m in February 2018.

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