The Government of Catalonia has given the nod to the €2-billion project for the construction of an integrated resort with a gaming floor in Tarragona. The plan has been proposed by Florida-based gaming and hospitality company Hard Rock International as part of its strategy for global expansion.
The Government of Catalonia published its approval for the multi-billion scheme in its Official Gazette earlier today, giving Hard Rock the authorization to move forward with the development. The major US company was finally given the green light after multiple delays.
It is understood from a note issued by Catalonia officials earlier today that the integrated resort will be called Hard Rock Entertainment World instead of the previously announced BCN World. Although the Tarragona area was previously selected as the preferred location for the complex, developers were allowed by court to use ‘Barcelona’ as a trademark. Hard Rock eventually decided not to create additional controversy and rebranded the proposed development.
Hard Rock Entertainment World will feature two hotels with a total of 1,100 rooms, a retail area with nearly 75 different stores, a number of food and beverage and entertainment facilities, and a 10,000-square-meter (107,639.1 square feet) casino. As mentioned above, the major gaming and hospitality company is planning to invest €2 billion into the massive scheme. Hard Rock’s project will thus rank among the largest projects of this kind to have ever been carried out in Europe.
Hard Rock already operates a number of casinos in its home state, Florida, and is currently expanding into New Jersey. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, the company’s first resort on the Atlantic City Boardwalk is slated to open doors on June 28 at the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal.
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Hard Rock, which also operates more than 170 cafés around the world, has further been looking to expand its gaming operations outside the US. The company was part of the €500-plus-million plan for the construction of an integrated resort in the Republic of Cyprus but walked out of it to pursue other opportunities, including the Tarragona project. Hard Rock was, in fact, the only bidder for that letter scheme.
Japan, which recently legalized casino gambling, has been another destination Hard Rock has been eying to extend its footprint to. The company has established offices in the Pacific Ocean island nation and has been looking actively for local partners. In a recent interview with Casino News Daily, Hard Rock Japan CEO Ed Tracy said that educating the Japanese people about the actual nature of integrated resorts and that casino gambling represents just a small portion of the whole concept was one of their main tasks in their pursuit of a license in what is believed to have the potential to become the world’s second largest casino market.