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Italy – Mayor of San Pellegrino Terme signals casino intent

By - 27 November 2014

The Mayor of San Pellegrino Terme, in Lombardy, Northern Italy, is calling for the parliamentary leaders of Lombard, the regional councillors of Bergamo, the trade unions and the mayors of the municipalities of the valley to unite in an effort to reopen the region’s casino saying it would bring strength to the tourist development of the entire Valley.

Mayor Vittorio Milesi is urging the powers that be to consider the effect that reopening the casino could have on the labour market and tourism throughout the Valley.

“The reopening of the casino is undoubtedly an important element in the revival of tourism and the labour market in the Brembana Valley,” he said. “In this area, the problem of unemployment has become dramatically since 2003, long before the economic crisis, following the closure of some of the oldest companies that have been moved to other parts of the country or even abroad. In a mountainous area like ours, which includes 37 municipalities with a population of 42,000 inhabitants, one of the few cards we have to play is that of tourism; in all its forms: winter, summer, snow, fun.”

Mayor Milesi explained that in 2007 the municipality of San Pellegrino Terme, the province of Bergamo and the Lombardy region signed an agreement which would have brought in investment of around €201m (143m of which was due from private entity Group Percassi) to restore the casino and the Grand Hotel and construct a new Spa. The Mayor explained however that due the economic crisis, the provisions contained in this development programme, had taken place far more slowly than expected. However in December the new Spa will open.

“At this time the reopening of the casino can therefore be seen as essential in making the important leap in quality that would allow, among others, the immediate recovery of the Grand Hotel, which has been closed since 1978,” he said. “In all European countries, casinos are considered as accepted businesses that complement the tourist offer. The re-opening of a casino in the Brembana Valley should be an interesting concept for local government as a tax generator. In recent years, casinos have been liberalised and allowed various forms and types of play. I struggle to understand why are requests to relaunch a casino are continually ignored.”

The Casino of San Pellegrino Terme was built in just two years and inaugurated in 1907. Acknowledged as one of the greatest expressions of Art Nouveau in Lombardy, it opened as a multi-purpose facility with the aim to entertain and entertain his illustrious guests, inside, could listen to music, read and groped their luck with gambling. The casinos were closed in 1926, then re-open for a short time in 1946.

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