A report from MTI-ECONEWS claims that the government of Hungary has removed the “priority” status from the Lake Velence casino resort project first announced in early 2009.
The €1.5 billion Kings Casino development was reportedly an initiative of a consortium of U.S., Israeli, German and Hungarian investors.
The project attracted criticism in summer 2009 when it became known that the government-owned lakefront land on which it was to be sited had been swapped for much less valuable farm land owned by one of the lead investors, Israeli-Hungarian citizen Joav Blum.
Separately, news source realdeal.hu claims that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told investor Ronald Lauder at a meeting in January that he preferred former New York Governor George Pataki to head the investment.
The article puts Pataki at the meeting with current Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi at the latter’s home. However, the article misidentifies Pataki as having been born in Hungary. Pataki’s paternal grandfather emigrated to the U.S. in 1908, according the former governor’s Facebook page. Pataki himself was born in the U.S.