Chilean casinos claim local bidding process is having negative consequences for the industry

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The Chilean Casino Association, Association of Casinos, reiterated that its members perceive irregularities in the tendering process proposed by the Superintendent of Gambling Casinos (SCJ) for the 12 casinos that will see their authorizations expire between 2023 and 2024.

After the process restarted on May 24, operators had time to come up with economical offers and other documents of interest to be presented on October 18.

Ricardo Abdala, president of the association, told local media La Tercera that “the situation facing the casino industry with regard to the tendering process is complex and disappointing because unfortunately the Superintendent Vivien Villagran did not give fundamental guarantees for a transparent and competitive process.

And he added: “Since 2020, we warn that the authority imposes on the operator a tendering process which does not respect the current legal framework and which has failed, as recent events have shown. “

“However, no one listened to us, we saw no interest from the regulator in having a discussion. On the contrary, we were pressured into participating in a process based on a tendering model which proved ineffective. “

The operating companies as well as the Asociación de Casinos had previously expressed their concerns that “this decision of the SCJ, which is supported by the Under-Secretary of Finance, has very negative consequences for the sector” .

Current operators have invested around $ 1.4 billion in casinos, ahead of the initial pledge 15 years ago that they would have a preferential right to extend their licenses for another 15 years.

The SCJ recently published the terms of the bidding process for the 12 casinos that will lose their licenses between July 29, 2023 and May 14, 2024, based on the renewal of the gaming law that was approved in 2015.

Despite the start of the process, the operators assert that “a paragraph specifies in the same law that” the authorizations to operate granted before the modification of this law are governed by the regulations in force at the time they were granted, unless that subsequent regulations imply better conditions ”.

In response, the regulator was explicit in that the “CSJ enforces the law”. He added: “Given the different opinion of some industry players, a number of Courts of Appeal across the country have ratified the actions that this body has taken in seven cases to date, establishing that the SCJ has not committed any illegality or violation of the law. regulations or provisions. He limited himself to fully complying with the law in force.

The court decisions presented by several operators, including Dreams and Marina del Sol, are essential to know whether the SCJ will back down or whether the tendering process already started will continue.


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