The Malta Independent 24 August 2019, Saturday

Malta’s largest casino opens its doors, no PN representatives attend

Sunday, 14 February 2016, 11:30 Last update: about 5 years ago

Casino Malta, the country’s largest casino, was opened this week with a Grand Gala on Friday evening. At midnight, following the gala ceremony, the casino opened its doors to the public, which was treated to live music, entertainment, dancers and a celebratory cake. 

Casino Malta is a joint venture between The Eden Leisure Group and Olympic Entertainment Group. Established in 2015, the company currently employs over 200 employees. It is operated by Olympic Entertainment Group, Central Europe’s biggest and best Casino Operator which is listed on Stock Exchanges in Tallinn and Warsaw.

Present for the opening was Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, but Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil did not attend, as reported by our sister daily newspaper earlier this week, although he had been listed as a guest, along with shadow ministers, in invitations to the press.

In fact, this newspaper can confirm that no one from the Nationalist Party attended.

The casino’s operators have taken exception to the report’s reference to Dr Busuttil as having been billed a ‘special guest’, which was the case in the press invitations, which read: “Attending will be the Prime Minister along with the Leader of the Opposition, Ministers and shadow ministers.” The operators have also taken exception to issues concerning the tendering process related to the casino’s concession (see right of reply from the Eden leisure Group’s legal representation below).

 

Casino concession award not based merely on upfront payment

While my client confirms that Dr Busuttil was indeed invited to the opening of the casino, he was never “billed as a special guest”.

Further, your report gives the impression that the award of the concession was intended to be based merely on the upfront payment offered by the bidders.

A reading of the call for expressions of interest in the casino concession would have made it clear to your reporter that the basis of the award was not limited to the initial cash offer, but to a spectrum of criteria of which only one was the initial cash offer.

Your report fails to indicate that after an assessment of the bids in question, according to statements made by the Privatisation Unit in the Courts of Malta, my client’s offer surpassed all competing offers by more than €22 million during the lifetime of the licence.

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