A number of serious infractions regarding the running of Tenerife’s three publicly-owned casinos have been reported by a Podemos councillor.
Julio Concepcion revealed that independent audits carried out on Casino Playa de las Americas, Casino Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Casino de Taoro between 2012 to 2014 found a number of serious anomalies in the venues’ accounts.
Characterising theses anomalies as “impermissible in public companies such as these”, Concepcion argued that they had negatively affected the financial management of the casinos, impacting on the hiring of staff, while the most serious breeches saw irregularities in the granting of contracts for services.
“The management of these public companies handpicked contracts outside of any legally established tender process,” he said. “This legal violation, which negatively affects the solvency of the companies that supply goods and services, is difficult to understand, because the casino companies have sufficient liquidity and staff to meet their economic obligations in a timely manner.”
Concepción affirmed that the irregularities affected almost all contracts including those for cleaning, security, catering and advertising and suggested that there were grounds for legal action.
At a general meeting regarding the casinos in the first week of May, Concepcion recognised that the economic data over recent years confirmed the high profitability of the casinos in Tenerife, with the venues generating E13m in income during 2016.
While Concepción has previously expressed his disagreement with the concept of publicly-owned casinos, he acknowledged they did create high quality jobs for the local economy.
The Podemos councillor has been vocal in his opposition to plans by the president of the Council of Tenerife, Carlos Alonso, to privatise the venues. The privatisation plans were first put forward in 2014, and would also see casino expansion in other hotels throughout Tenerife, but opposition from a number of officials and unions has delayed the process.