Cyprus’ Commerce and Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis announced that Melco-Hard Rock consortium was officially granted with a casino operation license. The country’s government finally accepted the consortium formed by Macau brand Melco and the US gambling operator Hard Rock to establish and later operate the first-ever casino resort in Cyprus.
Under the license, the consortium will be given the chance to operate an integrated casino resort in the country for the period of 30 years. The Melco-Hard Rock conglomerate will also be given the exclusive right to operate such a casino resort in Cyprus for the first 15 years of its 30-year license period. The joint venture casino resort is expected to open in 2020.
The Commerce and Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis described the gambling conglomerate’s endeavor as an ambitious one, saying that the gaming giants’ efforts to set foot in the country started about three years ago.
As reported by Casino Guardian on a previous occasion, the Melco-Hard Rock Consortium was first granted with a casino license in Cyprus in November 2016, after the joint venture fought the competition of the Philippines’ Bloomberry Resorts and the Cambodia’s NagaCorp.
The country’s legislation which was officially approved almost two years ago has provided Melco-Hard Rock consortium with the opportunity to establish a temporary casino in Cyprus, a satellite casino and a total of three slot parlours.
So, the casino operation license grants the consortium the right to establish a satellite casino located in Nicosia, which is set to be opened by the middle of 2017. Also, a temporary casino located in Limassol is expected to be officially launched by the end of the year. In addition, three slot-machine parlours in the districts of Famagusta, Larnaca and Paphos are also allowed to be held by the Melco-Hard Rock consortium.
The operation of these facilities is to be closely monitored by a coordinating committee, with the latter being entitled to make sure that all licensing requirements and criteria have been met by the gambling conglomerate.
The project is projected to have a positive impact on local economy due to the fact that an additional 300,000 tourists on a yearly basis are expected to be attracted in the casinos. In addition, around 4,000 new jobs are to be created over the construction phase of the project. On the other hand, a similar number of people are expected to be employed after the official opening of the casinos.
Cyprus’ government has been rumoured to be expecting significant financial rewards from the one and only casino resort in the country. As recently reported by a local media, the Finance Minister Harris Georgiades shared his expectations for a tax revenue of €100 million to be generated on an annual basis once the joint venture casino resort starts operating at its full capacity.