THE Department of Urbanism and Environment has granted approval to Spanish operator Orenes Grupo to begin the construction of a new home for its Murcia casino license.
With an investment of approximately €18m, Orenes Grupo is looking to begin its construction phase of the new building that will cover 11.600 square metres of its three floors, by 2019.
Casinos in vogue
Everything related to casinos and online gambling is seemingly in fashion in Spain, and the country’s main cities have seen a rapid rise in activity in recent years. It will be no surprise then to see Murcia welcome the new casino with open arms.
Orenes Grupo plans to invest over €200m euros in growth and development by the year 2020. This will equate to the opening of approximately 50 establishments per year across Spain.
Something avant-garde, something new
The Murcia casino, currently situated in Hotel Rincón de Pepe, in the city’s northern area, will be relocated to where it will exist as just one part of a far bigger leisure and entertainment complex in the city centre.
The new building’s design concept is a blend of the avant-garde and modern styles of Monte Carlo and the Estoril beach resort in Portugal.
The project is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete, with the firm hopeful that the building work will be completed by the beginning of next year.
Sports, slots, poker
The ground floor, which will cover 1,200 square metres, will be solely dedicated to the casino, where visitors can have a go at sports betting, poker, table games, and slot machines. One area of the floor will continue on to a 200 square metre terrace. The ground floor will also feature a bar and restaurant, in addition to a multipurpose room with capacity for 400 people.
The first floor will be used to provide the complex’s auxiliary uses, such as offices, warehouses, toilets, and rest and changing areas. There will be an additional multipurpose room with the capacity for 350 people.
The second floor will house the hotel with a garden terrace and restaurant.
The building will also feature two basements, spanning 7,000 square metres for warehouses, as well as for a 190-space car park, which caters for underground vehicles. The casino’s relocation will significantly enhance the area’s leisure offer and is likely to attract tourists and visitors from such bordering provinces as Almeria, Albacete, and Alicante. Murcia has already been getting busy on finding ways to attract more tourism to the area but the new casino just became the jewel in its crown.
The design of the casino, which was imagined by the Clavel Arquitectos studio, could become an iconic fixture in the area, with its location on one of the main roads leading into the city. The building will employ the very latest LED lighting and energy recovery technology.
100 new jobs
The casino is expected to have quite an impact on the economy in Murcia. It has already been announced that the new business will create some 100 jobs, a momentous feat in a local community that is coming out of a recession due to the housing bubble that resulted in thousands of unemployed in the towns, cities, and capital. The new 100 jobs will add to the 190 that will be relocated from the casino’s current location.
Online and offline casinos thriving in Spain
Both land-based casinos and online gambling have seen increased involvement in Spain in recent years. The casino industry has been prospering since 2013, with total revenues reaching €368,43 million in 2015, a €41.52 million rise from the previous year, as reported by the European Casino Association. The total revenues in 2016 stood at €409,30 million. Also, in 2015, Spanish casinos welcomed some 5.1 million visits by individuals wishing to play table games and slots, a 21 percent rise within a 24-month period.
Interestingly, the total online poker market rose by 14% to €77.4 million and online sports betting rose by 20 percent to €45.5 million. Revenue from online table gaming increased by 39 percent to €12.2m.
Orenes Grupo plans to capitalise on this increased interest in gambling in Spain. The number of gaming rooms in Spain already totals 219, with 5,870 gaming machines. Most are distributed between central Spain, Andalusia, Valencian Community, and Murcia, with Orenes Grupo being the nation’s leading operator in this area. Management intends to continue its pre-eminence and will further diversify its gourmet food and hospitality activity.
In the current year, the company anticipates a 19.7 percent turnover increase to reach 526,680,000 euros. The workforce will reach 2,739 staff by December.
Outside of Spain, Orenes Grupo is marching on with its expansion plan in Mexico, where it currently owns three casinos. It intends to expand two rooms this year, in Chihuahua and Querétaro.