Western Africa is not the first part of the world that springs to mind when you think of locations for a lavish new casino, but that is where Macau Legend Development has begun construction of a new casino complex that is costing €250 million.
Praia, the capital of the picturesque islands of Cape Verde, is set to feature a 152,700 square-meter integrated resort and gaming facility along with facilities such as function areas, a marina, a convention center, retail outlets, and an array of restaurants once the complex is complete. The entire task is thought to take up to three years to complete.
The government of the Portuguese-speaking island wants to increase the number of tourists visiting Cape Verde from 600,000 per year to more than 2 million and believes the new resort will help boost tourism figures.
Cape Verde built its first casino in May 2013, when new gaming laws came into force that allowed casinos to be built on the islands of Boa Vista, Maoi, Sal, Santiago, and Sao Vicente. A €5 million Casino Royal opened on the premises of the Hilton in Santa Maria on Sal island.
This new complex is set to receive 15 years of tax relief and concessions, and a deal struck gives Macau Legend exclusive nationwide rights to online gaming, online sports betting, and physical sports betting for 10 years.
David Chow, the Co-Chariman, Executive Director, and Chief Executive Officer of Macau Legend, laid the first stone during a ceremony to start the construction process. Chow spoke highly of Cape Verde and explained why his company has chosen to build the €250 million complex.
"Cape Verde is a Portuguese-speaking country that enjoys political stability, beautiful scenery and pleasant climate with convenient transportation network," he said. "Tourism is the country's core industry. In 2014, the tourism industry accounted for 22 per cent of its local GDP and is growing steadily. Cape Verde currently has four international airports; the largest one is in the capital city, Praia, which is also where our project is located.
"With a number of international routes connected to the rest of the world, it is able to attract tourists from North Africa, West Africa, Europe, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, thereby creating a new market, especially with the trend that more and more Chinese are emigrating and investing in these places and this saves them from flying long to Asia. The project is also a first choice for short-term vacation, which will be comparable with Bali and Phuket and other world class tourist destinations."
Lead image courtesy of Commentary Magazine