Casinos Austria has abandoned its plans to build a second casino in Chile.
Chilean gaming regulatory agency SCJ has reported that Casino Gran Ovalle S.A., a subsidiary of Casinos Austria, has formally withdrawn from the permission granted it to operate a casino in the commune of Ovalle in the Coquimbo region.
According to local media El Mercurio, the decision owed to the effects of the February 2010 earthquake on the construction sector and to financial setbacks suffered by Casinos Austria in 2010 and 2011 as a result of the international economic crisis. Those setbacks led to a rethink of international development strategy at Casinos Austria.
Casinos Austria currently operates the Gran Casino Los Angeles in the Chilean city of the same name.
The Ovalle license was one of the last three awarded in 2008. Casinos Austria will be required to pay a penalty of about $900,000 for failing to develop the project. The amount of the fine is 5 percent of the estimated total investment of $18 million as proposed in 2008.
Casinos Austria will also be prohibited from participating in the new license tender for Ovalle, which will take place in the first two months of 2013. Developers who have had a license revoked are ineligible to rebid for the license for a period of three years.