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Jamaica Approves Development of Two Casino Resorts

By: Marica K, June 19, 2015
The construction of the two new casino resorts will start by the middle of 2016

The construction of the two new casino resorts will start by the middle of 2016.

After more than one year of contention for building the new casino resort in Jamaica, the bidding period has ended and as a result two provisional development orders have been approved. After the evaluation process conducted by the Cabinet only two out of five contending bidders, Harmony Cove and Celebration Jamaica, will be granted the permission to build integrated resorts.

The request for proposals was announced in 2013 by the Ministry of Finance and it lasted longer than predicted, over a year and a half. Five companies were interested to build one of the three integrated resorts as predicted by country’s Casino Gaming Regulations but three of them failed to comply with the bidding fees. The terms were that the resort in question should contain a minimum of 2, 000 rooms, while the first stage of construction should see 1, 000 of them completed before applying for a gaming license. Three bidders that failed to get the development approval were Fiesta Jamaica, Casino Royale and Amaterra Jamaica Limited.

The two companies that got the approval were Harmony Cove and Celebration Jamaica. Harmony Cove represents a public-private partnership between Harmonisation Limited and Tavistock Group and the costs announced for the first stage are around $970 million. The newly-built complex will include 5, 000 rooms and a top-class casino which will be accompanied by a boat marina, private airport, golf courses. On the other hand, Celebration Jamaica will build a somewhat less luxurious resort with 2,000 rooms a casino spreading on 75, 000 square feet, a hotel, bars, restaurants and entertainment facilities. Celebration Jamaica’s estimated expenses in the first stage are $500 million.

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips has announced that he expects the construction of two integrated resorts to boost the touristic offer and consequently the economy. He also expects to see many new workplaces created through the realization of these projects. However, he also stated that the developers are required to start construction by the middle of next year, which is why the development orders they received are provisional. This means that they can be revoked if the developers do not perform according to plan.

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