A week after signing a contract to inaugurate the first integrated casino resort for the island nation of Cyprus and Melco International Development Limited has officially abandoned its plan to bring a similar operation to Spain.

Hong Kong-based Melco International Development Limited is the firm behind Asian casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, which operates the giant City of Dreams Macau and Studio City Macau developments, and made the revelation on Friday via a statement to the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Melco International Development Limited had been in competition with American counterpart Hard Rock International for the right to run one of two casinos being planned for the coming Tourist and Recreation Complex near Barcelona. However, despite calling the project an “exciting tourist opportunity in Europe”, the firm revealed that it had now pulled out of the ongoing bidding process due to having “other committed development projects in the pipeline”.

“The company thanks the government of Catalonia for its collaboration and guidance during these years,” read the statement from Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited. “Global expansion remains an important strategy of the company. Melco International [Development Limited] is looking forward to continuing to work with the Catalan government, local authorities and local partners in exploring future opportunities at the [Tourist and Recreation Complex].”

Formerly known as BCN World, the Tourist and Recreation Complex is set to be located approximately 60 miles south of the Catalan capital although the possibility of the development eventually offering gambling remains in doubt after Malaysian giant Genting Group recently announced that it had also disengaged from the process for the second casino license to leave Hard Rock International as the sole remaining bidder.

“Under the leadership of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Ho [Yau Lung], Melco International [Development Limited] has become a world leader in the leisure and entertainment sector with operations in China, the Philippines and Russia,” read the statement from Melco International Development Limited. “The group has also secured the first casino resort license in Cyprus. Its promising performance and distinctive leadership in the industry are also well recognized worldwide.”

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