One Hundred Sands Limited had their 15-year exclusive gaming licence on the island of Fiji revoked by the Attorney General in February. The company appealed to the High Court for relief where it was found that the government’s decision was justified. Devanesh Sharma, lawyer for One Hundred Sands said last week that he is seeking leave to appeal that decision but has not been given a court date yet.
The license was granted in December 2011, and was the first casino license ever issued in the country. Stipulations on the issuance included penalties of $US100,000 ($F185,668) per month beginning October 1, 2013 if the project was not completed by then.
One Hundred Sands had tendered about $1 million in penalties as of the date the license was revoked. Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum stated at the time that one of the reasons for revoking the license was, “because the other $1 million has not been paid to date.” He added, “So what we will be doing as provided under the licence is we have the ability to pursue the outstanding amount. It will be pursued by government.”
Counsel for One Hundred Sands reportedly has concerns about the procedures that were used to cancel the license and would like a judical review.
The $290 million facility suffered various setbacks in reaching their scheduled launch date. Among the principal reasons for delays were the relocation of the project to outside Denarau, and the American Indian Snoqualmie tribe of Washington state pulling out of the project. The Snoqualmie claimed that One Hundred Sands Limited had defaulted on a note due in February 2014 for the sum of $US 1.5 million.
Last summer it was reported that there were fears the license could be revoked if the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) were to be voted in as the new government. SODELPA believes that casinos are an undesirable form of tourism for the country. However they only took 5% of the vote, which was enough to gain 15 of 50 available parliamentary seats.
If the Grand Casino is successful in their endeavors to re-secure a license it would have 500 slot machines and 32 table games, as well as a race and sports book, high stakes gaming area, and a small convention center.