Melco’s Temporary Casino in Cyprus Opens Doors Today

A temporary casino is set to open doors today in the Republic of Cyprus. The venue will be located in the city of Limassol and will remain operational until 2021 when the much larger casino resort City of Dreams Mediterranean will be completed and launched.

The C2 Cyprus temporary casino is owned by gaming and hospitality giant Melco Resorts & Entertainment and its Cypriot partner, CNS Group. The facility is actually the first legal casino to be opening doors in the tiny Mediterranean nation. As mentioned above, its purpose is to service casino customers while Melco’s main property is under development.

The temporary casino is located at the site of a former Orphanides supermarket in the Zakaki area in Limassol. The property’s renovation and conversion into a gaming facility cost Melco around €12 million.

The casino will feature 242 slot machines and 33 gaming tables over 4,600 square meters of gaming floor. It will have a capacity for around 1,000 people. Melco has said that it expects the venue will attract 25,000 monthly visits.

Aside from the main floor, a VIP room will accommodate high roller players. The property will also feature several food and beverage facilities. It will employ nearly 600 people, three quarter of whom will be Cyprus nationals.

Melco is hosting a soft opening for the temporary facility today, with the main inauguration expected to take place in September, local news outlet Cyprus Mail reports.

Melco’s European Expansion

The temporary casino will actually be Melco’s first gambling venue outside Asia. The company operates integrated resorts in Macau and the Philippines and eyes one of three casino licenses in Japan.

The Lawrence Ho-led company was the only bidder for the construction of what would be Cyprus’ first casino resort. Melco had formed a consortium with Florida-based Hard Rock International and the local CNS Group to bid for the tiny republic’s sole casino license. Hard Rock dropped out of the project last summer, saying that it would pursue other expansion opportunities instead.

Melco and its local partner broke ground on the main €550-million resort earlier this month. Construction is expected to be completed in 2021. The integrated resort, first of its kind in Europe, will feature a casino floor with offering for both mass-market and VIP patrons, a 500-room hotel, 22 luxury villas, MICE facilities, and a number of food and beverage outlets.

Melco expects that its property, located in the Zakaki area in Limassol, will annually attract 300,000 tourists. The resort will seek to “combat seasonality” and lure visitors all year round and not just during the traditionally strong summer months.

As part of its agreement with the Cypriot government, Melco will also operate four satellite casinos across the nation. Two of these – one in the capital Nicosia and the other one in Paphos – are set to open doors before the end of the year. The other two – in Larnaca and the Famagusta area – are slated for 2019 launch.

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