The Monticello casino, located to the south of Santiago in Chile, opened on October 8 2008 as planned. “Despite this only being a “soft opening”, the number of visitors to date is very pleasing and the sign-ups to the group’s MVG casino loyalty programme are encouraging,” the company said. The casino will not trade at full capacity for the next three to four months as the west access road and further parking was still under construction.
The retail and entertainment elements of the casino will open around March 2009 and the 155 room hotel in June 2009. The project is within the overall cost of $236 million previously advised. Other developments were the second phase of the Sun City Main Hotel refurbishment comprising 170 rooms and certain back-of-house areas, which isprogressing well and is due for completion this month.
The group said it has submitted its application for new licence at the Wild Coast Sun, which includes a R340 million upgrade and expansion of the resort, and it is awaiting the announcement of the successful bidder from the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board announcement of the successful bidder from the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board. The Wild Coast Sun’s casino licence expires in August 2009. Sun International added that the Boardwalk’s licence expires in October 2010.
The final request for proposal (RFP) has been issued and contains a number of substantial changes to the draft RFP. These include the extension of the proposed licence period from 10 to 15 years and theelimination of the R750 million minimum investment requirement.Submissions for this licence are due on January 13 2009 and the announcement of the preferred bidder is scheduled for June 2009. In Nigeria, the group is currently managing the Federal Palace Towers Hotel on Victoria Island, Lagos, and the refurbished 150-room Federal Palace Hotel was officially opened on August 1 2008.
“The gaming licence is expected to be issued shortly, following which the group will acquire a 49.5% equity interest in the business for $38 million,” it said. The development of the temporary casino will commence shortly thereafter and is anticipated to open by end March 2009, where after the Federal Palace Towers hotel will be closed for renovation. The total expected cost of the project remains unaltered at $167 million.