A temporary casino will open doors in the Republic of Cyprus later this year, Melco Resorts & Entertainment Chairman Lawrence Ho confirmed in the company’s annual report.
Melco won an exclusive license to operate the tiny Mediterranean nation’s first casino resort in the fall of 2016. It partnered Florida-based hotel and casino operator Hard Rock International and Cypriot group The Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) to submit a bid to local authorities. The companies were issued a casino license last summer. Hard Rock announced its departure from the project on the very next day, selling its stake in the joint venture to Melco.
Melco and its remaining local partner announced that the main casino resort – City of Dreams Mediterranean will open doors in 2021. It is currently under development in Limassol, a city located in the southern part of the island.
Melco’s license also allows the company to open satellite casinos in four locations across Cyprus. The company has previously confirmed that the facilities would be located in the capital Nicosia, Larnaca, Paphos, and the Famagusta area.
The temporary casino will operate in Limassol, while the main resort is under construction. An exact opening date of the temporary facility is yet to be announced but it will launch by the end of the year, as stated by Mr. Ho.
Melco is planning to spend €550 million to materialize its project in Cyprus. The hotel and casino resort will be the largest of its kind in Europe. It will aim to attract visitors from across the continent as well as wealthy gamblers from the Asia-Pacific region.
Aside from its casino with 1,200 slot machines and 136 gaming tables, it will also feature 11 restaurants and café, meeting and convention facilities, and numerous attractions and entertainment options for family-friendly, non-gambling experience.
The resort is expected to have a considerable positive impact on the Cypriot economy once operational. According to preliminary forecasts, it will be able to generate €700 million a year after its second year of operation, which accounts for about 4% of the nation’s annual gross domestic product. It is also believed that City of Dreams Mediterranean will attract an additional of 300,000 international visitors to the island nation every year.
Cyprus’ tourism sector has helped the nation’s economy rebound after the financial crisis in 2012-13. Tourists mainly from Russia and Great Britain have been flocking to the island during the traditionally strong summer months over the past years.
Melco has said that it would too target visitors from these particular countries, but would not limit its reach to them. High rollers from the Middle East, middle and upper class visitors from various regions will too be expected to be regular visitors and guests of the complex.
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