US commercial property developer Cordish Companies is reported to have presented plans to build a mega-casino in Madrid, despite concerns from local authorities that have previously rejected its proposals.
The Executive of Madrid is reported to be reviewing a new proposal by Cordish to develop an entertainment complex branded “EuroVegas” that would include a multi-plex casino, restaurants and hotels, amongst its facilities.
The law firm Díaz Arias, which represents Cordish in Spain, confirmed to the local outlet La Información that Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, an ally of the president of the Community of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso, will be in charge of reviewing the project.
The Baltimore-based company already owns 134 hectares that would be used in a project worth €20m and that would generate around 56k new jobs.
“This type of project requires the approval of many ministries, such as the one in charge of the environment. We are cautious. The last time we were optimistic and things did not come to fruition. We need to be realistic,” the lawyers said.
In 2016, the former president of the Community of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, said that the Live! Resorts Madrid looked promising, although her intention was “to be cautious”.
Six months after receiving the proposal, the government rejected the project as it argued that it didn’t comply with the necessary requirements for this type of infrastructure.
One of Cifuentes’ key points was that a CID features different sectors and, although it included gambling, shops and hotels, the casino would’ve been in charge of 63% of the revenues, while the rest depended on the gambling hall.
The Government also argued that nearby highways could be affected by a large project and said: “The Community of Madrid must preserve public interest and guarantee that existing infrastructures and services are not altered.”
After the rejection from the Community, the company waited a few months to resume the project and study its viability.
“We have taken the experience of the previous project and we have taken into account all the things that were not liked last time. That’s why we have included some options in, for example, environmental matters,” the law firm said.
The Community told the local outlet that they wouldn’t confirm nor deny the project, since they “never talk about private proposals.”
Cordish’s lawyers commented that they expect fast deadlines, although they admitted that “the problem is that the process will coincide with the elections and the Administration usually slows down its activities during these periods.”
They also added that the intention is for the proposal to be ready before the 2023 elections and that an initiative like Cordish’s “may come in handy for Ayuso during her campaign because it will represent an economic boost for Madrid and for Spain.”
“This is not about a political issue, this is an economic issue. A lot of jobs are going to be created and it doesn’t matter if you’re a socialist, from the PP or from Vox. Political issues must remain in the background around this,” they concluded.