Countdown to casinos in Cyprus, huge boost in tourism expected

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TRAVEL GAZETTE – CYPRUS is a step closer to becoming a world-class destination for gamblers with eight international casino operators expressing an interest in acquiring the concession for the first casino resort on the island.

Next month the state is expected to have a short list of three bidders to choose from.

Government consultants say Cyprus can expect a boost in its tourism, which accounts for more than 12 percent of the annual economic output.

They project a potential increase of one million tourists coming every year specifically for the casino.

The new legislation – passed by parliament – provides for the establishment of “a top comprehensive casino resort in Europe and one of the best in the world.”

The new local resorts will have to include luxury accommodation, entertainment, gaming and top-class dining.

The legislation provides for a five-star establishment with at least 500 luxury rooms, at least 100 gaming tables and at least 1,000 gaming machines.

Under Secretary to the President Constantinos Petrides refused to reveal the identities of the interested applicants, saying that confidentiality is part of the conditions of the contest.

But he said that a short list of three applicants will be prepared by the government’s advisors.

“By the beginning of February the government will have the names of three applicants to choose from,” Petrides said.

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