- July 2017 should see Cyprus’ land-based ‘satellite’ casino open
- More casinos set to open, including flagship casino resort
A ‘satellite’ casino set to open on the island of Cyprus in July is the first step towards building what officials claim will be Europe’s biggest resort casino.
This wouldn’t be happening without casino giants Melco Development International and Hard Rock International, both of which have backed the project and partnered with local company CNS Group. The casino opening this summer is just one of many ‘satellite’ casinos that are being developed as part of the project, though its flagship casino won’t be opening until 2020.
This main one will be different from the others in that it will be part of a specially designed integrated resort on the Mediterranean island.
As part of the deal, government officials will grant both Melco and Hard Rock a 30-year license to operate the casino resort, as well as three slots parlors and up to four satellite casinos.
The main casino resort is expected to be constructed in Limassol at a cost of 500 million euros ($558 million). During the construction of the resort, some 4,000 jobs will be created; once it’s up and running, another 4,000 permanent jobs will be created. As well as a casino, the resort will feature a 1,500-seat concert hall, a health spa and a hotel with 500 rooms.
A deal for the construction of the integrated casino resort was signed on Monday.
According to Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Cyprus’ Energy, Commerce, Tourism and Industry Minister, it’s expected that the new casino project will attract an additional 300,000 tourists to the country each year. He highlights the fact that the resort’s casino will be the largest in Europe and that the integrated resort will be the only one of its kind in the continent.
The President of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades, has applauded the project, labelling it the island country’s largest ever tourism industry investment and saying it will help lower unemployment. Tourism, which accounts for over 20% of the country’s economy, saw a significant increase in 2016, with 3.2 million tourists visiting.
It is hoped the casino expansion will boost tourism figures even further.
Spain down the drain
The El Economista site has reported that the Hard Rock/Melco tandem has pulled out of a deal to build a casino resort complex in the Catalan region of Spain.
The project is not dead in the water however, and there are still hopes for other bidders to come in on the scheme.
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