Jamaica will allow existing resorts to apply for a casino gaming license, but only if they satisfy established regulations.
The Jamaica Observer reported recently that a resort development seeking a casino license must have at least 2,000 hotel rooms, and that a minimum of 1,000 rooms need to be ready to accommodate guests before gaming operations can begin.
In a recent discussion, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Christopher Tufton said casino gaming is an important addition to the attractions available.
“From an investment expansion perspective, we see where over the next 10 to 15 years we are likely to see hotel rooms move from approximately 30,000 rooms to 50,000 rooms or beyond,” said Tufton.
The proposed Harmony Cove development in Trelawny could see up to 6,000 rooms.
“The point is that when you speak to investors about investing in the expansion of the tourism product, one of the very common questions that come up is when you create the rooms, what are the tourists going to do in terms of the activities that will keep them occupied?” said Tufton. “It is important to them as investors, as it impacts the attractiveness of the investment package that we are selling.”
The Grand Palladium Suites & Spa Hotel in Jamaica recently announced that it is planning a casino for the property.
“Plans are well in advance for this full-scale casino right here on property,” hotel manager Dimitri Kosvogiannis told the Jamaica Gleaner. “I am presently in discussion with a major U.S. entity to partner with us in this venture.”
However, there could be a slight problem with the plan.
A quick visit to the Grand Palladium website shows the property has 450 junior suites and 90 suites. Even taken with sister property Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton, the total number of rooms comes to only 1,056.