Cyprus’ first casino to be operational by 2021

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The operators of the first Cyprus casino resort presented their final plans to the island’s President Nicos Anastasiades earlier this week, saying that it will become operational by 2021.

The casino resort, to be built amid citrus orchards in the Zakaki flatland west of Limassol and overlooking the blew Mediterranean, will be the largest of its kind in Europe and is expected to attract 300,000 tourists per year, Lawrence Ho, the Chairman of Melco International Development Limited, of Macau, China, told a packed audience of officials at the President’s Palace.

“Cyprus’ first integrated resort which will place Cyprus on the world tourism map and attract visitors not just from the surrounding region but also from the whole of Europe and around the world,” Ho said.

Melco is the moving force behind the Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus which obtained the concession to build and operate the casino.

The operators named the project “City of Dreams-Mediterranean”.

Melco has a 70.74 percent stake in the project, with local GNS Group holding 29.26 percent of the consortium’s shares.

Anastasiades said that the casino was an ambitious project and assured that the “benefits for the country certainly outnumber any negative consequences.”

An economic impact study prepared by a firm of auditors said the impact to Cyprus’ economy after the second year of the casino’s operation will reach approximately 700 million euros per year, around four percent of the country’s annual GDP.

It will also provide 2,100 jobs to the crisis-stricken eastern Mediterranean island, but it is expected that peripheral operations will provide a total of 11,000 jobs.

The casino resort will boast a 500-room luxury hotel, 11 restaurants and cafeterias, a retail area, wellness center and sports center.

Its facilities for meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions will spread over an area of 9,600 square meters.
It will also have the right to operate four satellite casinos, one each for the four cities of Cyprus. Except the one in the capital Nicosia, which will have a limited number of gambling tables, the satellite casinos will operate only gaming machines.

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