Spain is courting interest of late with the rival cities of Barcelona and the capital Madrid both leading casino projects into temptation. We may have heard it all before, but is this time different?
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s net casino income in Catalonia rises for the first time since 2007, legislators in Spain have approved the development plan for the proposed Tourist And Recreation Complex near Barcelona after a six-month public consultation period.
Previously named BCN World, the large-scale development due to be built around 60 miles south of the Catalonian city will include up to two casinos, with Melco Crown Entertainment Limited competing with Hard Rock International for one of the gambling licences. The second is being coveted by local firm Grupo Peralada in partnership with Malaysian operator Genting Group. Construction of the complex is scheduled to start in the summer with the region’s Vice President Oriol Junqueras stating that gaming will only take up four percent of the total floor space.The new casinos, which will add to the four already in Catalonia, come at a time when the gaming industry in the region looks to be making a revival.
Net income for casinos operating in Catalonia stood at €93,231,055 in 2015, 13 percent more than in 2014, according to data released by the Department of the Vice Presidency and the Economy of the The Government of Catalonia. It is the first time that income has been on the rise since the financial crisis, and the government has credited the growth to the economic recovery in the region, leading to more customers betting larger amounts. Data shows that from 2014 to 2015 visitor numbers increased by 11.7 percent (from 1,359,904 to 1,519,176). Furthermore, the amounts bet increased by 12.7 per cent from 2014 to 2015 from €394,000.000 to €444,091,333. In July Junqueras told parliament that casino generated revenue will double once the new version of BCN World is up and running.