Chilean Casino Operators Suspected of Arranging Deals Through WhatsApp Messenger

Two major casino operators in Latin America, Enjoy and Dreams, are seeking to join forces and become an even larger operator in Chile. However, their plan has been complicated by recent allegations of misconduct among casino executives in the country, potentially putting the agreement in jeopardy.

Diario Financiero recently reported on possible collusion in the casino industry, citing an internal document from another operator, Marina del Sol. This document reportedly indicated “facilitating behaviors” related to the tenders.

The accusations stem from an anonymous complaint sent to the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office in February 2021. The complaint alleged fraud and other illegal activity by senior executives in the industry, who were found to be using an undetectable WhatsApp group to negotiate deals and discuss the tender processes.

The investigation into the complaint uncovered audio recordings of the executives and a document from Marina del Sol’s antitrust lawyer, Javier Velozo. This document suggested intense communications and face-to-face meetings between the owners of Enjoy, Dreams, and Marina del Sol, possibly leading to an agreement to manipulate the tender process.

In response, the FNE concluded that Marina del Sol facilitated collusion and that the discussions constituted an agreement in relation to the tenders. Enjoy has issued a statement denying the allegations, saying that the conversations involving its CEO were related to “trade union matters”, not the tenders. Dreams and Marina del Sol have yet to comment publicly on the matter.