Cordish Companies revealed recently that it was in the process of reigniting a planned casino project for Spain. There’s still a long way to go, but the company has found some local support that may help it fulfill its dream.
The Ministry of Economy of the Community of Madrid has been studying Cordish’s proposal for the past few weeks. The company hopes to build an Integrated Development Center (IDC) in a city east of Madrid. The IDC would offer a casino, a shopping mall, entertainment venues and more.
The mayor of Torres de la Alameda, the place chosen for the venture, has now given his opinion about the €20-million (US$21.03 million) project. Carlos Sáez said in an exclusive interview with local media outlet La Información that Torres de la Alameda welcomes the project.
Cordish Optimistic About Casino
On the Cordish website, there is already a “Live Resorts Madrid” listing, a sign of the company’s optimism. The company describes the project as a “multimillion-dollar, mixed-use, entertainment and tourism project.”
Sáez told the media outlet that the IDC could bring up to 56,000 jobs. Of these, 18,000 are permanent, full-time positions. The heart of Torres de la Alameda has a population of just 7,760, but is in close proximity to other populated areas.
Additionally, the mayor pointed out that the IDC wouldn’t be a “EuroVegas” property, where gambling takes center stage. On the contrary, gambling would only be 10% of the operations. He added that the Gran Casino Aranjuez, an hour away, would still be bigger.
Sáez said in the interview that he’s confident the development would also serve to host business conventions and other types of events. This would mean direct competition for other facilities, such as the Ifema fairgrounds in Madrid. This facility routinely hosts international expos and gatherings, including NATO meetings.
One of the representatives of the law firm Díaz Arias, Cordish’s legal representative in Spain, showed some optimism, as well. He believes that this time they will be able to realize the project under the new administration of Community of Madrid President Isabel Díaz Ayuso. However, a project of this magnitude will require a number of signatures and approvals before it can advance.
Cordish Overcomes Rejections
Cordish tried to introduce a similar project in 2017 but failed. At the time, the political climate and leadership of Madrid were different.
Madrid’s former president, Cristina Cifuentes, shot down the idea for what Sáez points out are “absurd” reasons. As an example, he pointed out that the Minister of Culture rejected the proposal because it didn’t specifically include any details on a space for flamenco music.
In addition, he said Spain’s Treasury Department rejected the idea. This was because the proposal estimated around €197 million (US$207 million) in revenue for the state. That was “too insignificant” for the Treasury to consider the idea.
There’s more support this time around as Spain emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and supports Ukraine in its war with Russia. However, there is still a lot of resistance.
The Minister of Economy, Employment and Finance, Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, hinted that the Community of Madrid doesn’t support the idea. He said it only “promotes and sponsors research, education, health, sports or cultural projects.”
In addition, he took a politician’s approach to respond directly to the proposal. He told the media outlet, “This is an entirely private business project” to which “[officials] have to give the report corresponding to the request that is made.”
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