After Infiniti-DRGT challenged the Partouche Group’s Jean Metz right to own the Berck casino concession, the authorities decided that the company’s doubts were legitimate, and the procedure was canceled.
Group’s Société Grand Casino de Dinant against Partouche:
Administrative courts granted the concession on July 17, and shortly after that, it was revoked.
Among the candidates in the tender was Infiniti-DRGT Group’s Société Grand Casino de Dinant, and the company was the first to begin the process. After the presentation of a pre-contractual summary of the conditions required to get the award in front of the administrative judge, he decided to completely cancel the procedure for now.
The main reason behind that decision was the candidates’ right to be treated equally, and these conditions were harming the chances of winning of the other candidates – the Grand Casino de Dinant wasn’t an exception.
Jean Metz, a Partouche Group subsidiary which got the concession, has been present in the Berck-sur-Mer for more than 20 years. It started operating in the area back in 1991, and since 1998 its casino has been located on the former municipal bus station. The Partouche acquired the station in 1997. Beginning on January 1, 2006, Jean Merz got the right to operate its casino in that location. However, the renewal of public service concession was scheduled for December 31 this year, and the operators are obligated to prove that they are able to operate the gaming establishment on the municipality’s territory without constituting returnable property.
The privileged position of the Partouche group:
However, according to the source, the officials thought that the short duration of the public service delegation, which was supposed to be five years and ten months, was indicative of the prestigious status of the Partouche group. It seemed like it was carefully planned to coincide with the expiry of the commercial lease and the Group’s last accounting year, which made the other candidates unable to make the investments required to actually win the concession.
However, it seems the companies will get what they want: a fair contest. Besides canceling the concession for Jean Metz, both the company and the commune of Berck-sur-Mer will have to pay the amount of 1,000 euros to the Société du Grand Casino de Dinant, as the administrative court decided.
The officials from Infiniti-DRGT Group stated that they hope this course of events will give everyone the same chance and that the next procedure will be different than the previous one.
The next step for the municipality is to approve the extension of one year of the current concession and launch the new tenders so everyone interested can apply again.