ILD paid another 352.000 euro as a buying option for 1098 hectares in Ontiñena, Spain.
The project developers, ILD, will submit the Gran Scala draft to the local government, DGA “in three or four weeks”. This was said yesterday by Josep Carreras and Fernando Redondo, ‘two ILD members’ who traveled to Ontiñena to hand a total of 352.420 euro to the 70 land owners to maintain its ‘ownership option’ on 1098 hectares on which it is expected to build Gran Scala entertainment resort.
This is third payment installment according to the buying time line, the developers have already paid 900,000 euro as (12%) a sign/deposit for the land and now the next and last payment is approximately a 7 euro million will have to be paid in eight months time (before March 2011), as stated on the land owners contracts. In the meantime, land owners and council hope to formalize soon the purchase options of the remaining bit of land, more than 300 hectares are being delayed due to missed ownership documentation and legal burocracy.
Despite the backlog and the growing doubts about the future of the project, representatives of ILD again ensure that Gran Scala continues. While recognize that the project time frame has been modified. Thus, in a first phase provided up only one third of the overall project, ie three large theme parks, 4 or 5 medium weight themed parks and 9 or 10 casino-hotels. They estimate that this phase will create up to 20,000 jobs.
The construction works should start “within two years”
The final project features will be defined in the high-capacity entertainment centre application that will be submitted to the local government (Diputacion General de Aragon) in July, with all the documentation required by law (environmental impact reports, financial guarantees…). ”Then we wait for the government response, we will correct any errors and then present the final draft,” ILD developers said. They did not give any specific dates for the commencement of the ground works, but “should start within two years.”
Ontiñena’s Mayor, Angel Torres, did not hide his satisfaction when seeing the new checks handing to the owners, 90% of whom are residents in Ontinena, town of 600 inhabitants. Arising so many doubts from the delay of the project and its downsizing, he said convinced that “Gran Scala will be done if we all do our bit.” ”And even they just make 50% of predicted figures we’d be happy,” added Torres, who also stressed that if granscala doesn’t succeed, “the land owners would have received their money and will continue farming.”
Pascual Oliveros, 89, was one of the neighbors who received the third term of the purchase option for his 12 hectares, ” inherited by my father in law a hundred years ago and we still working, but this year the harvest was very poor . In his view, has done a good business because the 8,000 euros per hectare is five times the market price, “however, if this land was irrigated/watered one, I would not sell them.” He will take the money and “share it with my two sons.”
A Luis Ostale of 81 years, also was given a check yesterday for their land, where his nephew grow wheat. ”I think they will end up buying all the land,” he said. Hi thinks that when the first casino is open, he will go and live in Lerida, “because the town will change completely,” he predicted.
*Article translated by GranScalaBlog supporters community, and originally published in Spain on 11/06/2010 – By HERALDO.ES (local printed-paper in Spanish)
Mr. Angel Consola, 57, came from Barcelona to collect the moneys for 10 hectares, inherited from his parents. “I’m sure they will pay the rest of the money because they’ve already paid me 12% and no one gives money away” he said. He defend and supports Gran Scala project “because everything that brings prosperity is very welcome, socially embraced, and because this is going to be great for Aragon and Spain.”
Croupiers in Russia will roll the dice for the last time on Tuesday night as a ban on gambling comes into force in all but four remote regions.
Casinos and slot machine emporiums have been outlawed and other forms of gambling restricted to four, as yet undeveloped zones.
Betting at horse races is still allowed, although football fans can no longer bet at matches.
The law, first suggested in 2006 by then president Vladimir Putin, has been billed as an attempt to stop wasteful spending and improve the moral health of the nation.
Experts say the gambling industry has an annual turnover of about $6bn while underground gaming was estimated to earn at least twice as much.
Casino owners said the ban would drive gaming underground and put more than 350,000 people out of work during a time when unemployed in Russia is already soaring.
Storm International, which operates five of Moscow’s glitziest casinos, said it would lay off 5,000 workers after the close of business on Wednesday. Other casino operators are expected to do the same.
Samil Binder, the deputy executive director of the Russian association for the development of the gaming business, said the plan to build new, Las Vegas style gaming zones would require $40bn to $45bn of investment and was a “stillborn idea.”
”The government is prepared to invest and invest in enterprises like AvtoVaz [Russia’s biggest auto-maker] and get nothing in return, but it won’t spend anything on the gaming business,” he said.
The Russian Orthodox Church said the ban proved that Russia was “quite a strong society, capable of correction.”
“We can get the better of illegal underground gaming, the threat of alcohol, the proliferation of pornography and all the phenomena that destroy a man’s spirit and the moral conscience of the people,” it said.
Casinos and gaming halls were forbidden in the Soviet era but mushroomed in the freewheeling 1990’s when Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first president was in power.
Sergey Mironov, the speaker of the upper house of parliament, said the unregulated gaming industry had facilitated “money laundering, wrecked the work ethic and criminalised society.”
Mr Binder said casino owners began relocating abroad when the law was first introduced and those left behind are expected to do the same.
The chairman of the Government of Aragon, Marcelino Iglesias, finally showed his confidence and trust in this project.- Last Friday, one day after the ‘BIG GS O’, he said that he hopes the future leisure city Gran Scala “will create jobs and wealth”, while keeping the economy trends in advanced societies that are based on the services industry. – This was mr. Iglesias answer to a question of IU’s MP, Adolfo Barrena, in the House of the Aragon Parliament.
In his speech, the chief executive explained that the “Entertainment Centers of High Capacity Law”, approved yesterday by the House parliamentarian and allowing legally open Gran Scala is not an ‘ad hoc’, but to regulate the implementation of any entertainment center, high-capacity intending to settle in Aragon, not just for the one submitted so far.
Marcelino Iglesias continued his speech by stating that the Government, will decide “which one best fulfills” the law and he remark the conditions imposed by this law to such centers, which cited the obligation to create at least 3,000 jobs and build hotel rooms for 8000 people.
The aragonese president believed that “anyone who dares to invest under these conditions” will really make a significant investment in Aragon. ” In addition, Iglesias said that the services industry is “nuclear” for Aragon, representing 62 percent of the Aragonese economy, and highligted that “the most modern economies have more services than us, 70 percent.”
Adolfo Barrena (as usual) took opportunity to criticize the project and its supporters, and said that since IU, “we do not want any ” Entertainment Centers of High Capacity” (anywhere in the world) and asked “what else the government is going to do” not just a “personalized law” mr.Barrena told mr.Iglesias that “you will not find any type of collaboration in such projects” from me and from my party IU – (amen).
Spain is one of the more popular destinations for tourists all over the world. Dark handsome Spanish men, exotic Spanish ladies, excellent paella, tapas, and jamon, architecture, flamenco, sun, mediterranean beaches & botellon – all these and more are enough reasons for anyone to want to go to Spain. But did it ever occur to you to go to Spain to visit a casino?
Maybe not yet, but with this proposal to create a casino city in the region of Aragon, Spain just might become the top European destination for gambling. The project is dubbed the Gran Scala and features casino cum hotels, theme parks, and of course, a horse racing track. If the plan pushes through, this casino entertainment complex will be the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe.
Naturally, opposition has already been announced ie Los Monegros no se venden (in Spanish). One reason is that the site for the complex is located near a small village called Ontinena. The priest of the village, Father Lorenzo surprisingly states that it could be good in terms of the economy – jobs and all that. He says, however, that the moral implications could very well go the opposite way. He refrains from issuing a strong opinion, however, and says that the moral development will depend entirely on the individual.
As for the rest of the villagers? It seems that many are in favor of it, perhaps largely due to the fact that unemployment is quite high in the country these days (17%). For the rest of the gambling world, it is another thing to look forward to in the future.
VIDEO presentation of Gran Scala:
Egyptian Gran Scala hotel
The thirteenth century Church of Saint Mary sits on a hill in the centre of Ontinena, like a beacon for moral guidance.
Many Roman Catholics would associate casinos with deadly sins, so the response of Father Lorenzo, the 80-year-old, bespectacled priest, to plans to build a city of casinos and theme parks next to his village, is surprising.
“In general I think it’s a good idea,” he says.
“I suppose it could bring economic development. But moral development, that depends on the individual.”