Genting bids for Andorra’s first casino license

Genting, through its U.K. unit, is one of 13 bidders for the first casino license in the principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees, Spanish media reports.

Genting and Catalan group Cirsa put in the largest bids, both pledging investment of EUR140 million ($164.6 million) in the project.

The Malaysian group has teamed with Andorran businessman Marc Giebels van Bekestein, Arc Resorts President Mark Vlassopulos, and British investor David Gray. It will hold 70 percent of the venture.

Genting estimates that the project will create 1,000 jobs, with 600 during construction and 400 on a permanent basis. The IR will feature a gastronomy market, a spa and two floors of private rooms and suites, the reports said.

Other bidders for the license include French group Partouche, Barrière, Raineau and Casinos Austria. Andorra is expected to announce the winner before the end of June.

Genting is active in the U.K. with 43 licenses across the country, including the GBP150 million Resorts World Birmingham IR. This would be its first property on continental Europe.

Andorra is sandwiched between France and Spain and is best known for its winter skiing. It is also a tax-haven and encourages duty-free shopping.

During last week’s three-day ITB China Event, Ctrip International and Joaquim Tomas from Andorra Tourism held talks with Ctrip about opening up markets, upgrading travel products and services and strengthening further cooperation.  

Andorra passed legislation in 2016 allowing for casino gaming. The maximum duration for the license will be 20 years, with the minimum investment set at EUR10 million.