Consortium gets green light in Cyprus casino deal

By Robert Simmons
The Melco-Hard Rock casino consortium was today given the green light to build the first of five casinos by the Cypriot government.

The consortium, made up of two of the world’s largest casino brands was the only potential developer to submit a bid by the deadline of October 2016 and will now receive the Republic of Cyprus’s first casino licence.

Under the terms of the 30-year casino licence, the consortium will receive exclusivity over the casino gambling industry in Cyprus for a period of 15 years, during which time no other operators will be able to apply for casino licences.

Cypriot Commerce and Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told the Cyprus Mail “With today’s decision, the council of ministers has completed an ambitious endeavour that started about three years ago.

“This is a great project, which will enrich our tourist product and create new jobs.”

Melco-Hard Rock hopes to build a €500m integrated casino resort in Limassol, which will be completed and ready to receive guests by the start of 2020. A temporary casino will be in operation in the town from the end of this year until the resorts formal opening.

The development will include 1,000 slot machines, 100 gaming tables and a 500 room Hard Rock branded hotel resort with construction being overseen by a specially appointed coordinating committee.

Additional casino developments are planned for the districts of Larnaca, Famagusta, Paphos and in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.

Cyprus Ministry of Finance officials believe that the completed casino development will attract an additional 300,000 tourists a year and create over 4,000 jobs.

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