Plaza Consortium awarded first ever major casino license in Hungary

Plaza Centers announced that the Consortium formed by the shareholders of Dream Island, in which it holds a 30% stake, has won, via a competitive tender, the first ever major casino license to be awarded in Hungary for its planned 1.5 billion euros entertainment and mixed use Dream Island development in central Budapest.

The Consortium comprises Plaza, CP Holdings Ltd., a member of the group of companies controlled by Sir Bernard Schrier and the owner of the Danubius group of hotels (30% direct interest), MKB Bank, a leading Hungarian commercial bank which is a subsidiary of the German Bayerische Landesbank (30% indirect interest), and a company controlled by the managing director of the Consortium (10% direct interest).

The granting of this license will enable Plaza to commence construction of this major mixed use project. Totalling over 350,000 sqm of gross built area, the scheme will include approximately 3,000 hotel rooms in several hotels of different categories as well as approximately 1,000 leisure apartments, a convention centre accommodating 3,500 delegates, a 1,500 seat opera house, a 3,500 seat multi-purpose theatre, a marina with an anchorage for 300 vessels, a shopping and entertainment centre including a prestigious ’Designer avenue’, a Roman cultural museum, and parking facilities for approximately 5,500 vehicles, as well as the casino of 40,000 sqm. It is located on the southern end of Obuda Island in the Danube River in central Budapest.

The exclusive casino license has been granted to Plaza and its Consortium partners for 20 years from the date of opening of the casino, with a ten year extension option, during which time no further major casino licenses will be granted by the Hungarian government in the area of Budapest.

The casino will have over 200 gaming tables and over 4,000 slot machines, and is expected to be the largest and most prestigious destination of its kind in Europe, where currently no other resort and leisure facility of this magnitude exists.

Ran Shtarkman, President and CEO, commented: ’This mega development is in a prime location and will become a leading leisure and entertainment resort that will attract visitors from across Continental Europe and overseas. Europe, unlike the rest of the world, has never had access to substantial gambling-led destinations such as Las Vegas and Macau. On completion, Dream Island will fill this gap for the 350 million people who live within two hours flying time of Budapest, sparing them from long continental flight times and enable them to enjoy, relax, gamble and entertain themselves in a mega resort of the biggest magnitude in Europe. Alongside our partners, we will be evaluating a number of options to ensure that the quality of the entertainment offer, in terms of both permanent and visiting artists, is world-class”.

“Dream Island is also a clear example of our ambition to capitalize upon Plaza’s excellent track record and the significant experience and skills of its executive management team to undertake large scale integrated business and leisure developments. These, combined with the expertise of our highly experienced partners, ensure we are extremely well positioned to deliver this landmark project, with the consortium providing all project management services and appointing leading international operators to manage the Casino, hotels, convention hall and the cultural centre,” he added.

“Plaza is moving to a new phase of its evolution, in which we aim to continue to deliver our record of exceptional shareholder value through an expanding portfolio of mixed use projects in CEE and India, such as our Casa Radio mixed-use project in Bucharest which will include one of the CEE’s largest and most prestigious shopping centres. These developments place Plaza among the top European companies executing mega strategic projects in continental Europe,” He concluded.