Government seeking re-possession of Casino' di Venezia

The government has launched court proceedings for the re-possession of sites in Vittoriosa, including one used by the former Casino' Di Venezia.

The Ministry for Economic Affairs said it has filed an application against Port Cottonera Hotel Development Co. Limited, Galleys Development Co. Ltd and Vittoriosa Gaming Limited. The Commissioner for Land asked the court to order the three companies to pay overdue groundrent and return the sites. 

The sites had been granted to Port Cottonera Ltd on 99-year emphyteusis on June 2, 1999 . Port Cottonera Limited had been bound to pay an annual groundrent of €582,343.55 after a four-year rebate.

Groundrent was to increase by 15% every ten years. The government had a right to dissolve the contract if the company was in arrears for two years.

On April 24, 2001, Port Cottonera Limited transferred two of the properties on sub-lease to Scamp Development Co. Limited, Galleys Developments Co. Limited and Port Cottonera Hotel Development Co. Limited.

In October 2002 Port Cottonera Limited sold its emphyteutical rights for part of Port Cottonera Emphyteutical Site - the site of the Casino di Venezia - to Galleys Development Co. Limited.

On the same day,  Scamp Development Co. Limited, Galleys Development Co. Limited and  Port Cottonera Hotel Development Co. Limited declared that they were jointly responsible for the payment of the groundrent of Lm 175,000 (70% tal-Port Cottonera Emphyteutical Site) while Port Cottonera Limited was responsible for 30%.

In June 2011 Scamp Development Co. Limited sold its sub-lease of part of Port Cottonera Emphyteutical Site to Vittoriosa Gaming Limited.

In its application, the government said more than two groundrent payments were due for the Port Cottonera Emphyteutical Site, the site of the Casino Di Venezia, a site of 2,500 square metres and for the site known as The Residence of the Palace of the Captain of the Galleys’ Squadron.

The Commissioner of Land had sent letters requesting payment, but none had been made.  

Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera said this action should serve as a warning that no one could make abusive use of government-owned property. The government, he said, wanted to use the properties as part of its efforts to regenerate the area.  


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