Andorra to Announce Winning Casino Bidder within Weeks

Andorra is set to announce the winning bidder for the principality’s first land-based casino by the end of June. A total of 13 proposals from 9 gaming operators have been submitted during the bidding process.

The winning bidder will be issued a license with a maximum duration of 20 years. The license will allow for the construction of a gaming resort. The property will have to be of minimum investment of €10 million.

When finally operational, Andorra’s first-ever land-based casino will have to comply with the regulations set out in the Principality’s gambling law from 2016. Gambling services provided in the facility will be taxed accordingly.

According to unnamed sources, Andorra’s government will announce the winning bidder for the new property within weeks. As mentioned above, there were 13 different offers submitted for review from 9 international companies, with Malaysia’s Genting Group and Spain’s Cirsa being among those.

Multi-Million Investment Proposals

Both Genting and Cirsa pitched €140-million plans for the construction of a casino resort in Andorra. While the Malaysian gambling and hospitality giant came forward with a single proposal, its fellow bidder submitted bids for two different schemes.

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Genting is bidding through its UK subsidiary, which has previously formed a partnership with Andorran businessman Marc Giebels van Bekestein, Arc Resorts President Mark Vlassopulos, and British investor David Gray. The Malaysian operator currently holds a 70% stake in the joint venture.

Genting is planning to build a casino resort with a gaming floor, food and beverage facilities, a spa, and two floors dedicated for accommodation of the resort’s visitors. If the company’s proposal wins the single license available, it is planning to construct its complex in the Clot d’Emprivat area. According to initial estimates, Genting’s resort could create about 1,000 new jobs – 600 during construction and 400 full-time ones, once the property is launched.

It was understood that Spanish gambling giant Cirsa has submitted two bids. Both included a plan for the construction of a casino resort but in two different locations across the Clot d’Emprivat area. The company has recently been acquired by American private equity firm The Blackstone Group for the approximate amount of €1.6 billion. Cirsa has partnered with French casino operator Groupe Tranchant to bid for the Andorra casino license.

While one of the proposals includes a smaller-scale casino complex, the other, if approved, will provide for the construction of a larger mixed-use property. It will feature a 2,500-square-meter casino spreading across three floors, restaurants and bars, conference and event rooms, facilities for entertainment and live music events, and an underground parking, among others. According to original estimates, the resort could be launched by 2020 and would create hundreds of new jobs, both direct and indirect ones.

French gaming group Partouche, Andorran group Cierco, and Gauselmann Group’s Merkur are among the other bidders for the casino license.

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