The Government of Andorra has given the green light to the start of the works of the Casino Andorra at Prat de la Creu in Andorra la Vella. The gaming center project will be built and administered by JOCS SA, with NOVOMATIC as a technological partner.
The Casino Andorra completion is dated September 4, 2022, if everything goes according to plan. According to the Government of Andorra, the casino should one more element to help boost economic activity in the country and increase its attractiveness after the health Coronavirus crisis.
Once the infrastructure is ready, local gambling agency CRAJ (Consell Regulador Andorrà del Joc) will be asking for the opening license permit. Regarding the duration of the license, 17 years has been granted from the moment of the effective opening of the casino. Once completed, the regulator establishes the possibility of renewing the license.
The first casino in Andorra
The casino building will be located on Prat de la Creu street in the center of the capital, Andorra la Vella. Operator contemplates hiring more than 200 employees and expects to attract some 270,000 visitors in the first year.
In addition to the gaming offer in the lounges, the project includes the organization of international poker tournaments, shows, and events in general, as well as a gastronomic area coordinated by various local chefs and the cocktail maker Javier de las Muelas (Dry Martini).
Jocs SA wants to turn the first casino in Andorra into a reference in southern Europe, being a new element of tourist attraction for the Principality of Andorra.
When the Andorran Gaming Regulation Council (CRAJ) decided to start the bidding process for the opening of what would be the only and first casino in the Principality, received up to 13 proposals from operators with great international weight.
Among the proposals, we can highlight CIRSA, owner of Sportium, one of the main online casinos and betting houses in Spain. Other projects came from the Malaysians of Genting through its British subsidiary; the French group Partouche; Mercury; and Casinos Austria AG, CASAG, which has been involved in many scandals. But the final winner is the Andorran Jocs SA.
Proposals, especially from Cirsa and Genting, came with the promise of a heavy investment with hundreds of jobs in Andorra included in the construction and subsequent management of the integrated resorts. All this before the COVID-19 crisis that has hit the casino business around the world.
First no approval for a casino license, then yes
A year after the award, the Andorran regulatory board decided not to grant the license to Jocs SA due to the finding of significant deficiencies in the project; and it was not the first time this happened. For projects of such caliber, it is normal that they suffer delays and revocations due to nature and the interests at stake.
In the meantime, the Austrian company Novomatic reiterated its strategic alliance with Jocs SA as the technology supplier of the new casino. But finally, the Government of Andorra approved the appeal filed by JOCS and ordered the Regulatory Council to unblock the license. After providing new technical documentation through an appeal, CRAJ certified the architectural project and finalized the process of granting the Class A gaming license.
Good news for Jocs SA and gambling lovers in the Principality. Casinos are springing up not only in tropical paradises but also in mountainous landscapes. Now, the goal is to inaugurate the casino in 2022. A new tourist attraction to add to the many in beautiful Pyrenean country.