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Spanish Project of Hard Rock in Danger While Gambling Market Grows

While US gaming groups are focusing on placing their bids for the upcoming Integrated Resort (IR) in Japan, one outlier, to name Hard Rock Casinos, is looking to position itself in the Spanish market.

With the results for the gambling industry in the country consistently improving since 2008, Hard Rock Casinos may be up to a very lucrative investment. The proposed €2 billion project Hard Rock Entertainment World was approved in May 2018.

The project is expected to operate under the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tarragona brand and it would require a €700 million investment for the first phase of project development. Hard Rock is committed to building spacious gaming and hospitality venues with 1,200 slot machines, 100 gaming tables and estimated 1,100 totals across the entire project.

To benefit from a good location, the Hard Rock project will be erected close to Barcelona’s international airport and offer a respite to travelers as well as a place to experience world-class gaming products.

Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chief executive, has confirmed that his company is the only so far to have successfully secured the approval to push ahead with a Spanish integrated resort project.

H2 Hard Rock’s Future in Spain Now Under Review

While the Catalonian project has long seem promising some hurdles have been slowing down progress. For starters, Hard Rock has been unable to secure a deal for the land it planned to originally build the project on.

The deal should have been struck by June 2019, but it failed after La Caixa Bank refused to sell at a pre-agreed rate of €110 million. Instead, La Caixa is now pushing for at least €120 million or even €140 million accroding to the bank.

Another issue has been Hard Rock’s reluctancy to furnish the initial capital investment worth between €65 million and €200 million in order to secure its position in the country. As per the original agreement, Hard Rock would need to hold at least 10% in terms of capital before it can proceed with construction work.

So far, the company has refused to provide the money. Yet, Catalonian lawmakers are not acting unkindly towards Hard Rock and interested parties have been looking at options to extend the negotiation period so that the investor could fulfil the legal prerequisites.

Meanwhile, Cora Alpha, a California-based company, has expressed hopes to introduce as many as 33 ‘casino online españoles’, making one of the boldest claims in the sector. The company’s focused on the autonomous Spanish region of Extremadura where it wants to build its own project - Elysium City.