The legal dispute between the Chilean casino operator Enjoy and the Chilean Superintendency of Casinos (SCJ) continues over the Puerto Varas Casino property and project.
The SCJ revoked the license of the casino operator because of alleged failure to comply with certain concession stipulations. Per the agreement between Enjoy and the SCJ, the operator had two years to complete the approved comprehensive casino project, including building new amenities and expanding the casino services. The said agreement terminated on August 1, 2021.
A Request for Temporary Suspension Launched
Following the revocation of the Enjoy’s license by the SCJ, the casino operator filed a request for temporary suspension of the project and launched legal action against Chile’s gaming operator. Per Enjoy’s allegations, the Directorate of Municipal Works of Puerto Varas was engaged in “arbitrary and illicit” activities, which halted the construction of the Puerto Varas Casino project and the prompt execution of the works.
The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Enjoy and stated that it would uphold Enjoy’s request for suspension. In response, the SCJ issued a report, according to which the request of the casino operator aimed to delay the process. The regulator asked the court to issue a decision, per which the order concerned only the license suspension and not the lawsuit.
Per the last court’s decision, the request of the SCJ was dismissed and the order stopped the entire process until a final decision is issued over the ongoing “battle”. As the last two court decisions were in favor of Enjoy, this could save the casino operator more than $12 million.
When it comes to the background of the dispute between the two parties, it dates back to 2005, when the Municipality of Puerto Varas initiated a bidding procedure regarding the operation of a casino in the city and awarded CLP a 1.2 million (1.46 million) bid for concession for 10 years. The concession in question ended on December 31, 2015, and a new bidding procedure was started. However, the SCJ controlled the concession instead of the Municipality of Puerto Vargas.
Puerto Varas Municipal Works Directorate against the Construction Project
In 2018, Enjoy obtained a new concession for 15 years. Per the agreement between the casino operator and the SCJ, Enjoy had to terminate the construction of the project and the casino had to start operations in June 2020. However, according to Enjoy, the local authorities have created many obstacles for the termination of the Puerto Vargas casino project. The Puerto Varas Municipal Works Directorate denied approving the construction plans, because, allegedly, they did not comply with the official standards.
Daniel Lilayu, a Chilean Deputy, states that the employees of the casino should obtain payment for the whole period of the concession, namely payment for 15 years. Lilayu asked the Chamber of Deputies to intervene in the situation.
In 2021 Enjoy and Dreams, another Chilean casino operator announced a merger between the two companies in order to create the largest gaming operator in Latin America.