The Chilean Gaming Board’s (SJC) Deciding Council unanimously decided to cancel Enjoy’s casino license in Puerto Varas. The decision was issued because Enjoy allegedly failed to meet its duties under article 28 of Law No. 19,995, which required it to construct the approved integral casino project within the legal time limit of two years with the option of an additional year, which expired on August 1, 2021.
After SJC inspectors confirmed on the ground that the project had not yet been built, the revocation process commenced on August 2, 2021. On February 2, 2022, the SJC presented its findings to the Resolution Council, which thereafter took action.
The current holder of the municipal casino license in Puerto Varas (Dreams) may continue to operate until the new casino opens, according to Circular No. 84 issued by the SCJ in 2017. While the casino will continue to operate under the previous law as a municipal casino, the new casino will be much larger and earn far more revenue for the local government once it is finished.
Tomás Gárate, the mayor of Puerto Varas, said that he had been informed of the SCJ’s ruling: “We hope that this will be resolved as soon as possible, since the economic damage to our community is enormous,” he told local radio.
Enjoy was given a fifteen-year license in 2018, but has faced numerous challenges in getting the project off the ground, including obtaining planning authorization. It had also faced legal challenges from Sun Dreams, a competitor at the time. Sun Dreams filed an appeal against the SJC before the Santiago Appeals Court in 2019, seeking to overturn the SJC’s decision to issue the license to Enjoy. Sun Dreams stated that its competitor’s project did not meet current legal requirements or the tender’s technical requirements. The court of appeals later dismissed this claim.
Enjoy requested that the SJC annul up to US$12 million in guarantees for its Puerto Varas license in June 2021. The corporation stated that it had not relinquished the operating permit, but that it had encountered a series of unforeseen problems that prevented the casino from starting within the agreed-upon timeline. According to article 34 of the Chilean Casino Law, if the operator considers the license revocation is unjustified, they have ten days to appeal to the appropriate Court of Appeals. Enjoy stated that it would file an appeal against the ruling.