Dreams CEO Jaime Wilhelm resigns over Chile antitrust investigation

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Dreams has informed investors that Jaime Wilhelm has resigned as Chief Executive of the Pan-South American casino group.

The resignation comes as Wilhelm is announced as one of the executives to be investigated by Chile’s Competition Authority for alleged market violations and fraud charges.

Last April, the FNE intervened in the planned merger of Dreams with its main market rival, Grupo Enjoy. The merger sought to control all Chilean casino licenses and concessions for municipal arcades.

The deal had put forward arrangements to address competition concerns raised by Chile’s Financial Markets Commission. However, the deal was abandoned at the final stage when the FNE launched an ‘antitrust investigation’ into how the deal was formalised.

Wilhelm is among the executives to be investigated by the FNE for antitrust charges of collusion, allegedly aiming to secure outcomes that would benefit them financially.

The board of Dreams SA has accepted Wilhelm’s resignation. He will be retained as a corporate advisor during the firm’s transition. Consequently, Patricio Herman, the General Manager of Dreams casino properties, will serve as interim CEO of the business.

This week, deal partner Enjoy announced that it has abandoned all negotiations related to a business merger.

Instead, the Chilean operator has initiated a strategic review of its business. It will examine the potential sale of individual casinos in Chile, Argentina, and its Punta del Este casino resort in Uruguay.

The antitrust scandal involving Dreams and Enjoy emerges as Chilean government departments are working to finalise a legislative framework and technical standards to modernise the nation’s gambling laws, with an aim to liberalise its market.