Melco Cyprus faces new challenge as North Cyprus halves casino tax rates

Melco Cyprus might face new challenges in light of North Cyprus' new tax reform slashing casino tax rates by half. 

Melco Cyprus
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Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s City of Dreams Mediterranean venture in Europe might face a new challenge, as The Cyprus Mail reports that casinos in northern Cyprus are set to see their income tax slashed. The report reveals that this tax reduction is part of a two-pronged reform recently approved by the north’s parliament to revamp how casinos in the region are taxed.

As quoted from the news report, under the new reforms, the income tax rate of casinos will be halved, while the rates paid for each gaming table and slot machine will increase by 17%. The aim is to deter casinos from underreporting their income, as casinos are required to pay income tax at least equal to the amount they pay in gaming services tax.

Turkish Cypriot opposition party MP Erkut Sahali believes this move will prompt casinos to declare higher gross incomes to maintain the same tax payment. However, Sahali argues that this strategy is flawed, as many casinos already pay taxes exceeding the minimum requirement. With the tax rate cut in half, the tax paid by these casinos will also be halved.

Despite numerous casinos operating in northern Cyprus, Melco's City of Dreams Mediterranean remains the sole casino in the south. Grant Johnson, Senior Vice President and Property General Manager of CoD Mediterranean, acknowledges the competitive pressure from northern casinos, which offer various rebates. Despite this, Johnson emphasises the superior quality and service of City of Dreams Mediterranean, noting the need to attract players to experience their offerings.

The competitive landscape poses a challenge for Melco as it seeks to establish its luxury casino against northern competitors. Despite the allure of rebates, City of Dreams Mediterranean aims to distinguish itself through its upscale amenities and superior customer experience.


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