Spanish Catalan Casino Resort Gets MakeoverJuly 1, 2016 2:31 pm
The long-delayed project to develop a tourist-friendly casino resort in Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia received a boost this week after the local government announced a more manageable, down-scaled version of its original plan. If all goes accordingly, then construction on the new €2.5 billion resort should get underway by the summer of 2017.
The resort will be built on the Costa Daurada (or Dorada), which is located on Spain’s ‘golden coast’ on the Mediterranean Sea, an area steeped in cultural, natural and historical attractions, and long popular with the tourists. Amongst its many potential benefits, the new project is seen as a means of making the region less dependent on seasonal tourism, and as reported in catalannewsagency.com:
“The reorganisation of the project foresees that 96% of the site will go to tourism related to conventions and leisure. In particular, 57% of the site will be dedicated to hotels, 16% to leisure, 7% to commercial use, and only 4% to gambling.”
Under the revised plan, the Center for Recreation and Tourism (CRT) will scale back the resort project from 6 casinos to just 2, with 50% less casino space available for the gambling venues. Furthermore, the project’s hotel space will also be reduced by around 30%. The successful casino applicants will subsequently be required to spend as much as €2.5 billion to complete their project, after which they will pay 10% of their gaming revenues as taxes, with an additional 1% going towards local cultural projects in the Tarragona province.
“This is a worthy project; it generates important investment, is more realistic that the previous ones and more integrated from an urban policy and social perspective”, commented Catalan Minister for Economy, Oriol Junqueras.
So far, three casino operators have been approved to tender bids for the project, including Hard Rock International; a Grup Peralada and Malaysia’s Genting partnership; and Melco International Development and MelcoLot. However, the winning operators will not be revealed until next year.