The Court of Appeal in Suva has this week dismissed an appeal filed by One Hundred Sands Limited against the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The American casino developers were given an exclusive 15-year gaming license (Fiji’s first) in December 2011, to construct a $290 million casino and resort complex at Denarau, Nadi and for casino operations in Suva.
Construction never materialized and their license was revoked in February 2015, with One Hundred Sands then filing an appeal to reinstate its gaming license – the first issued in Fiji.
However, the Court of Appeal upheld that the Attorney General was entitled in law to revoke the license as there were material breaches of the license conditions by One Hundred Sands Limited.
And based on submissions by the Solicitor-General on behalf of the Attorney-General and Justice Minister, the Court of Appeal also unanimously held that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the application made by One Hundred Sands.
The project, located just before the bridge to Denarau Island, would have been the country’s first casino, with construction due by October 2013.
From 1st October 2013, penalties of US $100,000 were issued by Government for each month of delay until the project’s completion. The site remains vacant.
Sayed-Khaiyum has confirmed that the State will immediately pursue its claim for monetary penalties due and payable by One Hundred Sands Limited to the Government, under their agreement.
The casino project also had major interests by the native American Snoqualmie tribe of Washington. They pulled out of the project, claiming they were owed US$1.5 million by One Hundred Sands Limited, and filed a lawsuit in Washington in May, 2014, seeking to recover its investment, alongside interest and other dues.
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