THE CONTRACT for Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort, the only one of its kind in Europe, was signed on Monday in Nicosia between the gaming authority and the Melco Hard Rock consortium and is designed to provide for an investment of €500m, attract an extra 300,000 tourists a year, and to add 4,000 jobs.
Energy, Commerce and Tourism Minister Yiorkos Lakkotrypis, who addressed the event, touted the fact that the Limassol complex would be the only integrated casino resort in Europe, which will be based in Limassol, and will include four satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos.
The main resort will also be the largest casino in Europe, the minister said with 136 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines, a luxury hotel with 500 rooms with the capacity for expansion, a conference hall spanning 6,000 square metres that can accommodate audiences of 1,500, and a wellness centre covering 4,000 square metres.
“Total investment is expected to exceed half a billion euros and is estimated to create more than 4,000 jobs during the construction phase and the same number during operation,” Lakkotrypis said.
“This is undoubtedly, a project that will enrich our tourism product, attracting an additional 300,000 tourists annually and contributing significantly to combating seasonality,” he added.
The casino licence allows for the operation of an integrated casino resort in Cyprus for 30 years, as a monopoly for the first 15. Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said earlier this year that the casinos would bring in €100m a year in taxes. The satellite casino in Nicosia is estimated to be up and running this year, and a temporary casino in Limassol – until the full-blown casino resort is ready. This will likely be located at the current premises of the Monte Caputo nightspot on Amathus Avenue. Construction on the resort – which will include a luxury hotel and theme parks – is expected to be completed by late 2019 or early 2020.
Lakkotrypis said that due to its size and importance, the casino was probably the most important project Cyprus has seen in decades.
“Our goal is the improvement of incoming tourism, increasing arrivals, and average spending per capita, and also to see this contribute to the ongoing efforts to address the problem of seasonality in the Cypriot tourism industry,” he said.
“Our other strategic objective was the creation of new jobs and additional tax revenue, supporting sectors that will be associated with the casino, and attracting further foreign investment.”
Article Courtesy of Cyprus Property News