Budapest New casino gamble

AUSTRIAN and US investors have joined forces in a plan to construct a casino and entertainment center near the number 15 main road in north-western Hungary. Austrian construction and tourism group Asamer & Hufnagl Holding (Aramer) and US-based group Royal Distribution have formed an investor consortium to build the facility, which would be located between the towns of Hegyeshalom, Mosonmagyaróvár and Rajka. Hegyeshalom Ipari Park Kft, the Mosonmagyaróvár-based subsidiary of Asamer, already owns approximately 170 hectares of land known as Hegyeshalom Ipari Park. It is thought the joint venture – known as Crystal City – would invest Ft1 billion ($3.3 million) in the industrial park property, about 220km west of Budapest. Plans include four hotels, as well as a casino, and were expected to provide jobs to about 2,500 people. The news was confirmed by Edina Balogh, spokesman for the Finance Ministry, who added that Elemér Terták, Deputy State Secretary of the Finance Ministry, last week met with hopeful investors Joseph Jackson (father of pop idol Michael Jackson) and an Austrian. However, Balogh added plans were still at a preliminary stage and said the ministry did not expect to invite bids for the right to operate a casino for the time being. “We have received no official offer (from the consortium) as yet,” said Balogh. Under recent Hungarian gambling law, all new casinos require a concession tender, according to Márta Sibinger President of the gaming supervision body Szerencsejáték Felúgyelet. “Any new concession would have to be approved by the Finance Ministry,” said Sibinger. She added that currently there were only five casinos operating in Hungary (three in Budapest – the Las Vegas, Tropicana and Várkert – one in the border town of Sopron and another in Szentendre). A casino in Kecskemét closed on May 26.

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Bill seeks to give voters say on fate of Casinos

2/11/2001 (AP via NJ.com) DETROIT — A Detroit lawmaker says he has support in the state House for a bill that would put Detroit’s riverfront casino plan to a public vote. State Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, said that nearly 40 state lawmakers have pledged to support the bill that he will introduce in Lansing this week. If approved, the measure would force a referendum by Detroiters in September. “My bill will give the power to decide whether we have riverfront casinos back in the hands of the people of Detroit and out of the hands of the mayor,” Clarke said. Three temporary casinos have opened near downtown Detroit in the last two years. Mayor Dennis Archer said the city needs the larger, Las Vegas-style, permanent casinos to increase tax revenues for the city. But Archer has recently raised the possibility that other sites may be considered if property negotiations continue to stall, The Detroit News reported.

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