Hard Rock International’s Barcelona World casino project still seems far away from the day of the big inauguration. The project which is worth several billion was first supported by the Government of Catalonia a decade ago and has faced a series of bumps in the road that prevented it from coming to life. Now, the region’s Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda claims the project’s urban master plan (UMP) does not meet all environmental requirements, calling it a potential hazard.
The Tarragona Entertainment Complex Deemed Not Green Enough
Meant to become a powerful magnet for tourists in the area through its gaming and entertainment facilities, the mega-complex has now been deemed not green enough. According to the Ministry’s report, the project does not mention any “environmental compensation” for its development, while also missing out on the “ecological connectivity” department. These two requirements are critical for guaranteeing the smallest possible impact on the environment.
While the findings of the report do not represent an ultimate NO for the advancement of the project, they do emphasize all the changes that are still pending in regard to the impact on the environment.
Opposing Voices Continue to Be Heard
Catalonia’s former government did not give the green light to the project. The fresh change in power, however, nurtured a more favorable ground for the start of the project. Nonetheless, opposing voices continue to make themselves heard. Among them, Aturem BCN World, an organization that announced a judicial appeal against the project’s UMPa. Aturem has argued that Hard Rock has failed to prove the development of the casino would be eco-friendly according to Catalonia’s initiatives to protect the environment. Aturem has therefore accused Hard Rock of going against licensing agreement terms which should prevent the project from moving forward.
That respective complaint is currently being reviewed and could eventually lead to the delay of the project for several more years. Aturem’s main goal is to prevent any kind of gambling-tied project from receiving approval in the region. In this regard, the organization has introduced a number of measures meant to challenge the legitimacy of the Barcelona World project on different occasions.
What Would the New Casino Bring to Spanish Players in Catalonia?
Originally, the gaming and entertainment complex was supposed to host six theme parks spreading across 1,099 acres within the scope of the Recreational and Tourist Center in Salout and Vila-seca. Both parks were supposed to host a hotel and casino and a hotel for a total investment of approximately €4.8 billion ($4.81 billion). The complex would have created a total of 40,000 new jobs, half of them direct and half indirect jobs. In the meanwhile, the British multinational chain of restaurants, resorts, and casinos started working on a new casino facility based in Rockford, Illinois.