ast month, the Finance Sub Secretary’s office announced plans to put forward a bill to protect the revenue of local municipalities and districts with gambling facilities while also provide legal certainty to stakeholders. But these statements apparently fail to consider the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Chile's health, labor, and economy sectors, as well as the different interpretations of the amendments to casino legislation approved in 2015.
That is why the Finance Sub Secretary’s office has now announced its intention to engage in talks with different stakeholders.
The bidding process has faced fierce criticism from current license holders, who believe that, in accordance with the regulations in force when their casino permits were granted, they are entitled to a preferential right to the renewal of these licenses.
Chilean Casino Association (ACCJ in Spanish) statement
Following the gambling authority’s publication of the bidding terms and conditions, ACCJ stated: “We strongly reject the recent actions carried out by the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ in Spanish) — Chile’s gambling regulatory body—, which are in clear violation of the current regulatory framework and have been endorsed by the Finance Sub Secretary, in spite of the fact that the illegal aspects of the process have been clearly pointed out."
According to the casino association, the SCJ is wrongfully applying a set of provisions of a 2015 law, which "clearly establishes that the gambling licenses issued prior to the amendments to this law shall abide by the terms and conditions in force at the time such licenses were granted, provided that such conditions are more beneficial to operators."
The association also announced it will commence legal proceedings against the Chilean State before an international court of justice.
"Our complaint has been supported by experts, former gaming authorities and lawmakers, who during the last weeks have spoken out against the SCJ’s actions at meetings of different parliamentary committees," ACCJ explained. "Unfortunately, the SCJ has insisted on its decision, exerting unnecessary pressure on the sector."
"Moreover, we are extremely surprised that the Finance Sub Secretary's office, on which the SCJ is dependent, has not demanded the regulatory body reconsider its decision, and on the contrary, endorses a process that clearly violates the law."
"Following the announcement of the bidding process, the Finance Sub Secretary's office said it would hold talks with stakeholders. However, we believe the proposal arrived late and as a consequence the has ACCJ agreed that the conditions are not the best to talk, with an illegal process currently in course."
"Casino operators have been left with no other option but to resort to local and international courts to seek legal redress and have decided to commence legal proceedings against the State of Chile."