Jamaica Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips recently announced the government has provisionally approved two applications from casino developers. Five applications had been received for the maximum of three casinos allowed under the Casino Gaming Act of 2012. Together, the two casinos represent an investment of about .3 billion.
The larger of the two projects will be developed by Harmony Cove Limited in Trelawny, featuring casinos, five hotels with up to 5,000 rooms, 450 residential units, two PGA golf courses, a 350-boat marina and a private airport. The cost of the first phase will be $970 million. Harmony Cove is a partnership between investment firm Tavistock Group and the state-owned Harmonization Limited, which will hold a 49 percent stake. The partnership structure could change, however, under financing deals with Chinese backers.
The other development, Robert Trotta’s Celebration Jamaica Development Ltd. on Montego Bay, would offer a 75,000-square-foot casino and sports book space, restaurants and bars, retail outlets and a Caribbean World music entertainment complex. Phase one would cost about $500 million.
Each project must start construction by mid-2016. Eventually, each must offer more than 2,000 hotel rooms, with 1,000 minimum required to be developed before the Casino Gaming Commission would grant a gaming license.