Lisbon Casino row.jpg

Lisbon Casino row

PRIVATE GAMING company Estoril-Sol, which runs both the Estoril and Lisbon casinos, has demanded clarity from the government over who actually will own the site and building occupied by the Lisbon Casino when the present gaming licence concession expires.

The row blew up last week after details emerged that shareholders had been allegedly hoodwinked into believing that the site occupied by the Lisbon Casino had been transferred to the ownership of Estoril-Sol Casinos.

However, the former Secretary of State for Tourism, Luís Correia da Silva, has twice denied that Estoril-Sol would retain the ownership of the leased property at Parque das Nações, a fact that was omitted from a statement.

Investors and the company now say that it footed the 77 million euro bill for the site and building and therefore should have ownership.

Last week, Estoril-Sol, the gaming company owned by Macau businessman Stanley Ho, issued a statement to the market and financial regulator Comissão de Mercados de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM) outlining its position with regards to the ownership of the property occupied by the Lisbon Casino.

Ownership

Now the CMVM has asked the company for detailed clarifications on who actually owns the site now and who will own it in future given that the company is listed on the Lisbon Stock Exchange, Bolsa de Valores de Lisboa.

An official source at the CMVM issued a statement saying that it had asked for ‘clarification on certain facts which were incorrect or incomplete in its (Estoril-Sol’s) statement made on Wednesday last week.

According to sources linked to the Durão Barroso government at the time, the problem lies in the fact that the then Secretary of State for Tourism, Luís Correia da Silva, had defended the “transference of the building and land occupied by Lisbon Casino to the state when its current gaming concession license was up”.

The statement sent by Estoril-Sol to the regulator CMVM had neglected to mention that fact, stating only that Correia da Silva had asked for an “analytical report into the matter given its legal complexities”.

Do you have a view on this story? Email: editor@the-resident.com