Plans for a US$6 billion EuroVegas-style gaming complex in Barcelona are looking doubtful after the lead developer declined to exercise an option on the land.
Veremonte, the investment consortium behind BCN World, a proposed multi-casino and hotel destination that has attracted interest from Lawrence Ho among other industry heavyweights, has allowed its €380 million option on the 500-hectare site to expire, citing a lack of key approvals from local and regional governments.
The government of Catalonia said it would shield the land from speculation so as not to endanger the project, a decision which could give Veremonte upwards of 18 months to decide how to proceed. The government has not, however, indicated when or if the consortium’s plans for the complex would be approved.
A spokesperson for Veremonte said the group would soon issue a press release to clarify its position.
As an alternative to Las Vegas Sands’ aborted $10 billion EuroVegas in Madrid, BCN World envisions a cluster of six resort-scale casinos, luxury hotels, theme parks shopping malls, theaters, meeting and convention space, golf courses, a sports stadium and other attractions. Hard Rock International and Caesars Entertainment have joined Mr Ho’s Melco International Development in announcing plans to participate.
Veremonte has said the project will create 17,000 construction jobs and another 6,000 jobs for each hotel, an attractive proposition for Spain’s battered economy, but it is expected that significant regulatory modifications will be needed to adapt the project to the urban planning of the area. Critical policies regarding taxation and the scope of the gambling also are not resolved.