The Uruguayan government has warned that it may refuse to award a casino license for a casino in Punta del Este, citing mounting irritation about contract delays.
Giuseppe Cipriani should have signed the contract for the new casino in the San Rafael hotel, according to lawmakers. The Cipriani Group will sign the license for the new casino in Punta del Este in January 2022, according to the government’s announcement in December. Giuseppe Cipriani was supposed to sign the agreement in December, but COVID-19 prevented him from doing so.
According to the press, Giuseppe Cipriani agreed to sign the investment agreement on January 14th after the prolongation.
However, Uruguay’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has granted another extension, this time until the 28th of this month. The license will be canceled if the agreement was not signed this month, according to Minister of National Tourism Tabaré Viera, who spoke following a tour with President Luis Lacalle Pou and other officials from both the national and departmental governments.
“Already in December the contract should have been signed. There was a reasonable request because he was sick with Covid and was unable to do so. Now there are no further explanations for this request for an extension that went far beyond what the Government finally granted him as the last term,” said Viera. The minister said that if by January 28, the date until which the extension had been extended by the Ministry of Economy (MEF), “there is no signature, the concession will surely fall.”
Enrique Anta, the mayor of Maldonado, took a same stance, stating that no more extensions would be granted.
The San Rafael hotel in Punta del Este has been closed since 2011, but the Cipriani Group purchased it in February 2018 for more than US$40 million. The agreement covers the operation of a private casino for 20 years, with the development of a luxury hotel as a prerequisite. The Cipriani Group purchased the hotel for roughly US$40 million in 2018.