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Companies downplay Casino deal

Published:Friday | May 2, 2008 | 12:25 PM

One of two companies earmarked by the government to receive casino licences, is trying to downplay the significance of the deal.

Celebration Jamaica, operators of the Palmyra Hotel admits that without a casino licence the US$1.8 billion development in Rose Hall, St. James will not take place.

The group said the casino is only a small fraction of the development.

Head of the group in Jamaica Dennis Contanzo, said the casino will represent only 15 percent of the business, which will include, 1,500 rooms, a massive water park, a dolphin cove, shopping area and several other attractions

According to Mr. Contanzo he agrees with persons that say a casino is not the answer to all of Jamaica’s problems.

However, he believes the increased jobs and the push that it would give to the island as an attraction makes it a valuable tool.

He was speaking to members of the media last night as he outlined the group’s plan for Celebration Jamaica.

Mr. Contanzo said work would begin as soon as the group gets the casino licence and the project should be completed within three years.