Casinos Austria International (CAI) announced that it plans to open its new casino “Beograd” at the Belgrade hotel Jugoslavija, in which it would invest a total of EUR 60 million.

According to the General Manager of CAI, Paul Herzfeld, this project, as one of the largest of its kind, will set new standards for the entire European market.

The casino will have 5 500 square metres of space, where there will be 250 slot machines and 25 tables for games of chance,  as well as international restaurants, cocktail bars and shops.

According to Bojan Kristo, the General Manager of the Serbian State Lottery, of the casino would enrich the tourist offer of Belgrade and result in the opening of 300 new jobs.

It is expected that, in the first year of operation, the casino would generate an income of EUR 25 million to EUR 30 million.

The licence to open the first casino in the city was sold for EUR 18 million. It was awarded to the company Grand Casino, which is registered in Serbia and the majority owner of which is CAI, with 51 per cent of the capital in the company. The Greek company Club Hotel Loutraki owns 39 per cent of the capital and the remaining 10 per cent is in the ownership of the Serbian State Lottery.

According to the contract the casino was supposed to be opened by the end of the year 2006, but the deadline was extended at the request of the licence owner because the renovation of Hotel Jugoslavija was not complete.

CAI owns 872 casinos in 18 states and has 10 luxury cruise ships. The company employs 10 400 people and in 2006 it had a record income of EUR 1.26 billion.