After a two-year delay, next Monday a final decision will be made by the Deciding Council of the Chilean Gaming Control Board (SJC) over which of two companies will be awarded the gaming license for the casino to be located in the city of Chillán, according to G3 Newswire.
For two years Marina del Sol, the company based in Chile and Canada, and the Argentinian—Spanish company Boldt-Perlada have battled in the courts and in the Regional Council over the license and claims that favoritism has been shown towards Marina de Sol. The tender process now, however, will be decided once and for all next week when the panel meets and settles the bidding, according to reports.
The deciding council’s chair, Deputy Finance Minister, Alejandro Micco, will head the meeting. Others who will be present include Undersecretary of Regional Development, Ricardo Cifuentes; Javiera Montes, Undersecretary for Tourism; the Superintendent of Securities and Insurance, Carlos Pavez, as well as the Mayor of Bío Bío, Rodrigo Diaz. Daniel García, who is the Head of the SJC, will be there and act as Executive Secretary, and Luis Bresciani and Rapahel Bergoeing Vela, the two directors of the deciding council, will also be present. The president directly appoints and the Senate ratifies the appointment of directors.
The ruling by the Concepción Court of Appeals in March, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in July should have resolved the issue. The former rejected Boldt-Perlada’s appeal filed against the Regional Government of Bio Bio. Boldt-Perlada’s proposal was rejected by the Regional Council of Bio Bio for the third time in November. That rejection gave an additional 300 points to its rival Marina del Sol. One of Chile’s highest courts, the Concepción Court of Appeals, then upheld the vote and declared that the site proposed by Boldt-Peralada was too close to a learning establishment and also violated aspects of Regional Development Strategy.
Another delay was forced when Miguel Zamora, one of the directors of the SJC’s Deciding Council resigned, which forced the government to present the Senate a new candidate and make a request for a replacement. Earlier this month, the appointment of Raphael Bergoeing Vela was approved by the Senate.
The decision of the Deciding Council will be based on the SCJ’s technical assessment of both projects, as well as assessments carried out by the Ministry of Interior, Chile’s National Tourism Service (SERNATUR), and the Regional Government of Bio Bio. Both of the projects have been scored equally by the Ministry of the Interior and SERNATUR, however, the extra 300 points awarded to Marina del Sol by the Regional Government of Bio Bio in November gives it an advantage over its competitor Boldt-Perlada.
After the winner of the gaming license is announced, the winner will have two years to build the casino and have it operational and additional time will be given to complete more works. An investment of US$54.1m has been offered by Boldt-Perlada. If the company’s project is approved, in addition to 400 slot machines, the casino will offer 20 gaming tables and 60 bingo positions. Also included is a five-star hotel and a broad range of other amenities. If, however, Marina del Sol’s project is selected, the company’s US$56.3m investment would include 450 slot machines, along with 20 gaming tables and a bingo hall with seating for 68. The venue, if approved, will also include also include a five-star hotel as well as a broad range of other amenities.
The city of Chillán is located approximately 250 miles south of the capital in the Bio Bio region of Chile, in an earthquake prone interior region of South America.