One such entrepreneurial team discovered the Cape Verde Archipelago and their hearts and minds were captured by its people, its culture, its landscapes and its huge potential. They set about developing several hundred holiday homes on Sal, one of the eight inhabited islands, and planning numerous follow-on businesses including a casino resort on the more exclusive island of Sao Vicente. Then came along the credit crunch...
However, undeterred, they secured the rights to Fortim Mindelo, a historic building and site with a commanding view over Mindelo Bay and forged ahead. With New World Gaming as their casino advisors, a detailed market feasibility was undertaken; business plans crafted; license bid tendered and the casino licence for Sao Vicente was won.
Meanwhile the anticipation of a casino resort in Mindelo was a catalyst to spur-on the upgrading of the deep-water harbour in order to boost cruise ship business (up 25% on previous year) and the opening of a new International airport with weekly flights directly from Paris, Amsterdam and Lisbon. The determination and passionate commitment of the two entrepreneurs from Ireland’s County Cork and their local partners is making an astonishing contribution to the transformation of Cape Verde’s tourism economy.
Mindelo is now a new port-of-call for the ARC yacht race and has seen large increases in sports-fishing tourism from the USA, Scandinavia, Europe and Russia. Overall, Cape Verde was voted at the top of the list as the “most wanted” holiday destination for 2014 by British respondents to an online poll.
Further afield, the current economic situation has encouraged governments to look to casino taxes as additional sources of revenue. Enlightened governments will recognise that casinos, like any other business, need to be based on a sound and detailed understanding of the market, need careful planning on capital expenditure and due consideration given to cash flow sensitivities. They will set their expectations of tax levels, structures and timing accordingly. They will also recognise that there are relatively few organisations that have the capital and resources to undertake the scale of IR developments seen in the likes of Singapore and even these massive companies need to prioritise the timing of their developments.
We spoke to David Marshall, Associate Director in New World Gaming, and an expert on European casinos, and he takes a look at the situation in Cyprus. Marshall says: “Whilst the currently preferred option is to have a single, large global-brand, IR could provide the country with a unique offering in the region, until of course the next global branded IR opens in the region.
“Cyprus already has excellent large resorts which need only the addition of the casino element to turn them into IRs; integrated resorts which are uniquely and proudly Cypriot in character. Distribution can be optimised by issuing several licenses providing choice for visitors and the competitive forces necessary to maintain standards of service and product appeal that serve to differentiate Cyprus as a preferred casino destination. It remains to be seen if a suitable global-brand IR operator will come to the table and if so, what the offer will be. War and poor economic performance in the region; the bank account “haircut” executed by government last year... It’s difficult to imagine that global corporate companies with their institutional investors would have the risk appetite for Cyprus. Is it not a job for the Cypriot entrepreneurs who developed successful resorts without the benefit of a casino in the first place?”
David Marshall’s recent joining of New World Gaming and Associates fulfils its goal to provide clients with the services and level of expertise of a blue-chip corporate “Head Office,” as a shared service. Please see David’s bio and more information on New World Gaming at www.newworld-gaming.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about investment opportunities in the Mindelo casino and other such opportunities.
Original article in Casino International - online