Sun International wins approval for Chile casino license stake

The Chilean gambling regulator, the Casino Superintendence (SCJ), has formally approved the participation of South African operator Sun International in Chile’s new casino project, the hotel and resorts company said on Monday.

Sun International would now acquire a 40 percent equity interest in local entity San Francisco Investment, which holds a 15-year casino license in Region Six, the premier casino opportunity in Chile.

It would also be responsible for the development of the complex, and would benefit from a long-term management consultancy agreement, the Johannesburg-based company said. This followed a standard process of probity investigations and the approval by the SCJ in October of enhancements to the project.

The new property will be a family entertainment complex which will include 1500 slot machines, 80 tables and 300 bingo positions, Sun International said. It will also have a top quality 155 room hotel and luxury spa, a 1800 seat conference centre, sports facilities, as well as an amphitheatre, business centre, artisan mall, retail, tourist information centre, entertainment amenities for families and a wide variety of bar and restaurant outlets.

While the SCJ has approved expenditure of USD 155-million, the final product is expected to ultimately cost USD 200-million, and will be the largest private sector investment ever in Region Six’s leisure industry.

The casino complex is very well located on a site on the Panamericana Sur highway 57 kilometres south of Santiago, Chile’s capital city, which accounts for 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The first components of the project, including the casino, will open in October 2008.