Melco-Hard Rock Consortium to Open Temporary Casino in Cyprus in H2

A temporary casino, operated by the Melco-Hard Rock consortium, may be launched in the Republic of Cyprus in the second half of the year, the Mediterranean island country’s Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told media late last week.

The group of international developers has filed the required license papers with the Cypriot gambling regulator and a due diligence report on the proposed casino resort project is now set to be compiled. Minister Lakkotrypis said that the consortium will likely have its license signed in the weeks to come. As mentioned above, this will allow for the opening of a smaller-scale satellite casino in the island’s southern part that hosts the Republic of Cyprus, while the main venue is being built.

Major gambling operators Hard Rock International and Melco International Development had joined forces to bid for the construction of the island republic’s first casino resort. In 2015, the Cypriot government reformed its existing gambling regulations to authorize brick-and-mortar casino gambling. Three candidates were short-listed after an initial call for tender was published.

The three preferred bidders – the Melco-Hard Rock consortium, Cambodia’s NagaCorp, and the Philippines’ Bloomberry Resorts – were then required to submit more comprehensive bids. The consortium was the only one to provide the local government with the necessary documentation, while the other two left the race shortly before the announced deadline for the submission of the plans expired.

Cypriot lawmakers were clearly content with what they had been presented as they gave the green light to the Melco-Hard Rock bid. Under its agreement with the local government, the developer will have to build an integrated hotel and casino resort with a 500-room hotel and a casino with room for no less than 1,000 slot machines and 100 gaming tables.

The casino license to be granted will be valid for 30 years. It is also important to note that Melco-Hard Rock will hold a 15-year monopoly over casino gambling on the island.

Currently, Cyprus is a particularly popular destination among British and Russian tourists. According to a recent study, the island offers the cheapest holiday options for British families, hence its popularity with that particular group of tourists. A four-member family can bask in the Cypriot sun for ten days for around £1,130, as revealed by tourism agencies.

The launch of an integrated resort with both family-friendly and gambling options is believed to turn into a further boost to the shiny Mediterranean country’s tourism industry and to bring more and bigger spending gambling and non-gambling customers from new and farther parts of the world.

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