The President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, has accepted the initiative put forward by the investment group headed by businessman Giuseppe Cipriani to build a casino in the San Rafael hotel in Punta del Este. Both the Ministry of Economy and Tourism have issued reports in favour of the new initiative 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 after an agreement was signed by Giuseppe Cipriani.
The plan includes putting up 90,000 square meters of additional residences for sale next year. The project encompasses the construction of two horizontal towers perpendicular to each other with a maximum height of 100 meters in addition to the restoration of the Tudor style building, which was first inaugurated in 1948.
According to a resolution signed by the President this month, the complex named “Cipriani Ocean Resort and Club Residences – Punta del Este” includes the construction of “a new San Rafael Hotel, casino, commercial premises, convention centre, theatre, spa and amenities, two underground garages and residences.”
The government will initiate a public tender for the operation of the casino. The building of the former hotel San Rafael is currently in the final stage of demolition and the construction of the new building will begin in August.
In March the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uruguay (MEF) confirmed that the only way to grant a new license for the operation of a private casino in the San Rafael hotel in Punta del Este would be through a tender.
The confirmation was in response to the request for reports made by Deputy of the Independent Party for the Maldonado department, Andrés Carrasco, who had put forward new requests to the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uruguay (MEF), regarding information on the possible concession of a private casino licence to the San Rafael Hotel.