Four companies have so far applied to the Jamaican Ministry of Finance to develop and operate one of three Integrated Resort Development (IRD) projects destined for the island.
Applications were sent in by Casino Royale Limited, Amaterra Jamaica Limited; Celebration Jamaica Limited, and Harmony Cove Limited although only one of the four companies; Harmony Cove, has so far paid the full application fee of J$16m (US$150,000).
The minister must select the winning projects before a casino licence can be granted under the Casino Gaming Act. The projects have to include at least 2,000 rooms, of which 1,000 must be available prior to the casino licence being issued.
Casino Royale wants to integrate a large casino into the Drax Hall development, alongside 16 acres of retail, accommodation and a marina.
Amaterra wants to develop a 2,200 room casino hotel and golf course on 850 acres in Duncans, Trelawny, including 3.5 acres of beach.
Harmony Cove plans to invest US$900m on a hotel, a championship golf course and a casino. Located on a 2,400-acre site in Trelawney, 30 minutes to the east of Montego Bay and 45 minutes to the west of Ochos Rios, the Harmony Cove Resort will also feature shops, spas, conference facilities, a water-park, music venues, and recording studios.
The government has promised exclusivity to the winning bidders so no further licenses will be offered for the foreseeable future.