Alegria loses lawsuit against Dunes CasinoPOSTED: 07/4/16 8:09 PM
St. Maarten News – The Court in First Instance has declared Alegria Real Estate inadmissible in its request to suspend the casino permit of GN Entertainment, the company that operates the Dunes Casino at the former Caravanserai Resort in Beacon Hill. Appeal against the decision is not possible.
Alegria based its request on its assumption that GN Entertainment is no longer entitled to the casino permit because it no longer meets the requirements outlined in the country’s casino policy. Alegria intends to request its own casino permit and the continued presence of the Dunes casino on its property would amount to unfair competition.
Furthermore, the court ruling states, Alegria feared significant damage to its reputation “because the Dunes Casino belongs to Mr. Corallo who has a bad name.” However, the court ruled that this argument is based on “unsubstantiated assumptions.”
Alegria told the court that it fears the alleged reputation of Corallo would rub off on its resort, “because outsiders have the impression that the Dunes Casino is linked to the Alegria Resort.”
Alegria even argued that “in case of suspicions of criminal actions by Corallo or the Dunes Casino” searches would also take place at the resort. The Ministry of Tourism and Economic Affairs could prevent all this, according to Alegria, by revoking the casino permit for Dunes. So far the ministry has not taken a decision on Alegria’s request – dated January 8, 2016 – to revoke the permit.
The lack of action from the ministry has led to a so-called fictitious refusal. A provisional ruling from the court aims to prevent that a party suffers disproportionate damages from the execution of a decree. That is not the case here; the court ruled, because a fictitious refusal is anything but the execution of a decree.
The court also brushed aside Alegria’s urgent interest in a ruling, because the Dunes Casino was already there when Alegria bought the Caravanserai Resort in 2014 and renamed it Alegria – a world of happiness. Since then, Alegria has waited quite some time before it submitted its request to revoke the casino permit.
Based on these circumstances, the court ruled, Alegria should have presented a solid foundation for its argument that it has an urgent interest in the court ruling. “That is lacking,” the court ruling states.
Furthermore, the sole circumstance that Alegria intends to request a casino permit is insufficient for speaking of an urgent interest. The interest of the Dunes Casino outweighs this argument, because the company employs 40 to 50 people who would become jobless in case the court granted Alegria’s request.