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One of the biggest and most stylish Helsinki’s Debt Counselling
entertainment centres in Lithuania Nese Office has reported a doubling
Pramogu Bankas celebrated its second Helsinki in the number of internet poker
anniversary on May 23. The gala party Viva
poker aid
players applying for debt
Bankas Las Vegas brought together a large number of
visitors including Lithuanian business and
doubles on
counselling. It predicts it will
have helped 150 people by the
two years
entertainment celebrities. CTC’s Edvins
the net
end of the year. Over 200,000
Lobinsh is seen here congratulating Nese’s Finns play internet poker.
Kazys Paulikas and Inga Cesnakiene.
Whilst publicity surrounding the much hyped Euro Vegas destined at one
time for Hungary has died down, Plaza Centers’ dream of developing a
similar sized super casino looks like becoming a reality having secured a
licence and several partners for the project.
Plaza lands
licence to operate
Dream Hungarian
super casino
superplan ers of Dream Island, in which nental flight times and enable mixed use project. Totalling
HUNGARY the property developer holds them to enjoy, relax, gamble over 350,000 square meters of
a 30 per cent stake, the consor- and entertain themselves in a gross built area, the scheme
Central and Eastern European tium has won, via a competi- mega resort of the biggest mag- will include approximately
shopping mall specialist Plaza tive tender, the first ever major nitude in Europe. Alongside 3,000 hotel rooms in several
Centers is part of a consor- casino licence to be awarded our partners, we will be evalu- hotels of different categories
tium that has won the first in Hungary for its planned circa ating a number of options to as well as approximately 1,000
super sized licence of the new 1.5bn entertainment and ensure that the quality of the leisure apartments, a conven-
Hungarian era. It plans to build mixed use Dream Island devel- entertainment offer, in terms tion centre accommodating
a casino with 200 tables and opment in central Budapest. of both permanent and visit- 3,500 delegates, a 1,500 seat
4,000 slot machines serving The location is certainly a ing artists, is world-class.” opera house, a 3,500 seat
as a virtual monopoly for such dream come true for Ran As well as Plaza, the consor- multi-purpose theatre, a of casino
a large scale casino in the Shtarkman, president and tium comprises Plaza, CP Hold- marina with an anchorage for
Budapest region. CEO of Plaza. ings, a member of the group of 300 vessels, a shopping and
The exclusive casino “This mega development is companies controlled by Sir entertainment centre includ- signofthetimes
licence has been granted to in a prime location and will Bernard Schrier and the owner ing a prestigious ‘Designer CZECH
Plaza and its Consortium part- become a leading leisure and of the Danubius group of hotels avenue’, a Roman cultural
ners for 20 years from the date entertainment resort that will (30 per cent direct interest), museum, and parking facili- The Czech finance ministry wants to submit lottery
of the opening of the casino, attract visitors from across MKB Bank, a leading Hungar- ties for approximately 5,500 legislation by the end of 2008 to better classify what a
with a ten year extension Continental Europe and over- ian commercial bank which is vehicles, as well as the casino casino is and what games should be played.
option, during which time no seas,” he said. “Europe, unlike a subsidiary of the German Bay- of 40,000 square meters. In a trend that is apparent across Europe but perhaps
further major casino licences the rest of the world, has never erische Landesbank (30 per Shtarkman believes the more evident in the Czech Republic, traditional casino
will be granted by the Hun- had access to substantial gam- cent indirect interest), and a project has the potential to be games are giving way to fully automated games with
garian government in the area bling-led destinations such as company controlled by the the largest and most presti- Czech experts blaming inefficient lottery legislation.
of Budapest. Las Vegas and Macau. On com- managing director of the Con- gious destination of its kind in Electronic roulette terminals now outnumber
This project will be devel- pletion, Dream Island will fill sortium (10 per cent direct Europe, where he says cur- positions at real roulette tables in regular casinos by
oped on the southern end of this gap for the 350 million interest). rently no other resort and ten to one.
Obuda Island in the Danube people who live within two The granting of this licence leisure facility of this magni- Proponents of a draft lottery law say operators
River in central Budapest. hours flying time of Budapest, will enable Plaza to commence tude exists. with just a few slot machines are registering their
Formed by the sharehold- sparing them from long conti- construction of this major “The award of this licence venues as casinos and installing electronic versions
represents a significant mile- of casino style games. The passing of the proposal
stone for Plaza,” he said. “It into law would change this by classing casinos as
means we can now com- places with live games.
mence our 1.5bn develop- A fall in spend is squeezing the profitability out of
ment programme of Dream the tables with less and less croupiers spinning and
Island in the centre of dealing on live tables in the Republic and the
Budapest, which will become availability of casino style games in venues not
Plaza’s biggest ever scheme. classed as casinos is to blame.
“Dream Island is also a clear The Czech Republic now has only about 10 casinos
example of our ambition to with 10 or more live tables with approximately 40 of the
capitalise upon Plaza’s excel- country’s casinos operating between five and 10 tables.
lent track record and the sig- Loose lottery laws are allowing electronic roulette
nificant experience and skills machines to be placed in practically every type of
of its executive management gambling facility.
team to undertake large scale In 2007 gamblers spent CZK 9.6bn on bets, the
integrated business and lowest level in the last eight years and down CZK 850m
leisure developments. These, compared to 2006, a downwards trend that caused the
combined with the expertise largest casinos in Ostrava and Liberec and the second
of our highly experienced largest casino in Zlín to shut up shop. Casinos around
partners, ensure we are the Dolni Dvoriste or Znojmo border crossings have also
extremely well positioned to been closed whilst Casino Brno closed the doors on
deliver this landmark project, several of its operations.
with the consortium provid- Vladimír Eichinger, president of the Association of
ing all project management Czech Casino Operators, believes more casinos are
services and appointing currently up for sale or have been transformed into
leading international opera- electronic roulette venues under new ownership than
tors to manage the casino, ever before, a trend which he thinks will continue.
hotels, convention hall and He claimed that current legislation didn’t encourage
the cultural centre.” operators to develop large scale, attractive gambling
Plaza and its partners aim to facilities due to the plethora of similar opportunities
complete the project by 2012. available outside of real casinos.
8 July 2008 • europeannews
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