- Hard Rock International is reportedly looking at a new casino in Cyprus
- The project is allegedly worth €500 million and could contain 1,000 slots and 100 table games
Cyprus and casinos have long been synonymous, for the eastern Mediterranean isle is home to countless operators and software developers. Despite being known as one of the Med’s most gambling-friendly territories, second only to Malta, one thing Cyprus has been missing up until now is a casino.
Now, Hard Rock is on a mission to remedy that after receiving the go-ahead from the Cypriot government to build a huge integrated casino resort in Limassol.
The €500 million project will be a joint Melco-Hard Rock venture, one which includes not only a Limassol resort but also casinos in the island’s other major cities, Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos. These latter facilities will be stocked with slots only.
Sprawling casino resort
The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019 or early 2020. Due to the scope of the project and the licenses required, the country’s gambling regulator is still required to officially give the project the thumbs up in order for it to proceed.
Such is Melco-Hard Rock’s apparent eagerness to proceed with the project, a temporary casino is planned to open in Limassol until such time as the new facility has been constructed. This temporary casino is expected to open in late 2017, to be followed by a satellite casino in Nicosia that will have room for five casino game tables and 50 slot machines.
When it’s completed, the Limassol resort will be a sprawling gaming emporium which has the potential to transform Cyprus’ reputation from being a B2B gambling stronghold to a B2C one that could bring in throngs of additional tourists each year. With 1,000 slots and 100 gaming tables earmarked for the glittering new casino, Hard Rock is clearly bringing all its experience to the project.
There’ll also be a hotel bearing the prestigious Hard Rock brand name plus a string of restaurants and various entertainments to occupy guests.
Economic benefits for Cyprus
One of the reasons why the Cypriot government has given its blessing to the bold scheme appears to be the job creation that the project will engender. It is estimated that as many as 4,000 jobs could be created, many in construction, but with more to follow operating the Limassol casino when it launches.
Cypriot officials have clearly done their sums and are well aware of the potential windfall that legalised casino gambling in the island nation could usher in; it’s thought that as many as 300,000 additional visitors a year could be tempted to the Mediterranean locale best known for its fine beaches and archeological ruins. By 2020, Cyprus may well be famed for providing distinctly more contemporary pleasures.
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