Plans to build the Casino Luckia Arica, the largest casino in Arica, Chile in the XV region are being moved ahead by the current manager of the Antay Casino Hotel in the city of Copiapo in northern Chile, Spanish gaming group Empresa de Generación Eléctrica de Arequipa S.A (EGASA).

Details of the project include a proposed investment of US$100m, and a new complex encompassing a 2,900 square meter area, which will house both slot machines and table games. Also included is Arica’s first five star hotel, which will have 129 rooms. Other amenities included in the complex are a convention center with a 1,000 person capacity, a supermarket, shopping boulevard with 40 shops, bars and a gym, and two restaurants.

Project Development Manager Peter Müffeler said, “It is the largest investment in recent years and the largest in the history of Arica. We are confident of the enormous tourism potential of the region and its close relationship with the neighbouring countries of Peru and Bolivia,” according to G3 newswire.

The casino is expected to be operational in the later part of 2017, with the hotel to follow in 2018. During the construction phase 500 jobs will be created, and upon opening the same number of permanent positions will be created. The Arica casino will be part of EGASA’s Luckia Casino brand, and operate 350 slot machines, 60 bingo seats as well as 12 gaming tables. There is some concern regarding the complex’s location being less than 100 meters from the municipal casino and one of the country’s 17 casino license holders, Casino de Arica. However, Arica’s mayor, Salvador Urrutia welcomes the project and said that the close proximity of the two major casinos might create a Las Vegas as well as increasing revenue and attracting more tourists to the city.

The municipal licenses extend to December 2014, after which time those municipalities will remain home to the casinos for three fifteen year periods with licenses being open to private sector tender. Officially sanctioned by the Chilean Gaming Control Board (SJC), the initial plans were approved by the Regional Council in April. Proposals were submitted by the Argentinian-Spanish company Boldt-Peralada and the Marina del Sol and the winner was announced in September.

With a population of just under 200,000, Arica, a commune and port city only 11 miles south of Peru’s border, is located in the Arica Province of northern Chile’s Arica y Parinacota Region. A gaming law passed in 2000 makes casinos legal in Chili’s northernmost city.

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