Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. This week’s edition looks at Jamaica and Cyprus casino developments, Swedish licenses and PokerStars’ success in Southern Europe.
It has been reported that Jamaica is planning to have its first casino resort up and running by 2020, but Edmund Bartlett, tourism minister for the island, is quick to stress that the country does not need gaming to drive tourism numbers.
Coming as two previously announced projects, granted approval three years ago, have thus far failed to get off the ground, Bartlett also states that the casino aspect of a resort should not exceed one fifth of its overall makeup.
“The casino must come with shopping, entertainment, with music and with maritime experiences and a whole range of other experiences, because we wanted to make sure that the balance remained, so that there wouldn’t be stand-alone casino arrangement all over Jamaica,” added Bartlett.
Melco International Development has debuted its Cyprus Casinos Nicosia property, also known as C2 Nicosia, which is to be the first of four satellite casinos to pop us as the firm continues development on its City of Dreams Mediterranean complex.
Occupying a total area of 970-square-metres and featuring five live tables and 50 slot machines, it follows a temporary stand-in property unveiled earlier in the year in Limassol.
Allowed due to an exclusive agreement with the country’s Government, the second satellite casino to be opened is the C2 Larnaca, followed by further establishments within Famagusta and Paphos.
Melco’s City of Dreams Mediterranean is pencilled into open its doors in early 2021, and is billed as Europe’s biggest integrated casino resort.
It’s gaming area is set be installed with 36 tables and 1,200 gaming machines, with the complex also featuring a five-star hotel with luxurious villas and 500 hotel rooms, 11 restaurants and cafeterias, a wellness centre, a sports centre, an extensive pool area with river woods and surf pools, a high-end retail area and an outdoor amphitheatre with extensive green areas.
An additional 300,000 tourists are expected to be attracted as a direct result of the construction, with the financial impact on the Cypriot economy to be felt to the tune of approximately €700m per year, around four per cent of annual GDP.
Swedish regulator the Lotteriinspektionen has continued its recent licensing spree, ahead of the country launching its re-regulated market on the first day of the new year.
The most recent recipients are Bethard Group, Evoke Gaming and Mr Green, taking the overall total of companies who have now received approval to 26.
Addressing the confirmation Bethard Group founder and CEO Erik Skarp said in a statement: ”We are of course very pleased with having our Swedish licence and to have received a green light for continuing growing in the Swedish market.
“Today I am celebrating together with our white-label clients, who now will get the same opportunity as us to carry out operations in Sweden.
“Sweden is, for many reasons, a very dear market to us and I am personally looking forward to show what we can do in terms of responsible gaming on our home market.
“Our goal is to become Europe’s leading betting company, not only in terms of innovation but also in terms of having the courage to take the right decisions in order to be a truly responsible gaming company”.
Continuing its recent France, Spain and Portugal-based successes, PokerStars has announced “the biggest ever guarantee to be awarded in a Southern Europe Series”.
The Winter Series gets underway on Christmas Day, running until January 17, 2019, and guarantees over €20m across 297 events.
This builds upon €50m already awarded in PokerStars Series’ in the shared liquidity market since launch, with the new events set to take the total to over €70m.
“We have enjoyed great success in Southern Europe over the year and we want to give back to our players in France, Spain, and Portugal who have been supporting us along the way,” explained Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at The Stars Group. “We’ve really upped the ante with the Winter Series by setting the largest guarantee ever to be offered by us in the shared liquidity market at €20 million, which makes up the majority of our total guarantee of €27 million that will be awarded across the whole of PokerStars Southern Europe during the Winter Series.
“We are also offering a sweet main event with a €2 million guarantee, the biggest prize ever in Southern Europe. We wish our players a brilliant festive period at the online felt!”