The very first casino of Republic of Cyprus
A consortium consisting of the Hard Rock group from the United States and the Melco group from Macao obtained a license from the Republic of Cyprus on Thursday, May 18, 2017. This licence will enable them to build and manage the very first land-based casino in the south of the Mediterranean island, which has been separated in two parts since 1974. This is a great step and reminds of what Sheldon Adelson is trying to achieve in Rio at the moment.
Casinos in the northern part of the island
The construction of such an establishment is new for the south of the island, as various attempts to liberate the operation of casinos had failed, because of the opposition of the Orthodox Church. On the other hand, the north of the island allows gambling and there are many gambling halls available. The island was divided into two parts in 1974 when the Turkish army invaded part of the island to create the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognised by Ankara.
An ambitious project
The casino will be built in the coastal town of Limassol. It is a large project that should also boost the tourism industry of the country and allow for the creation of some 2,500 jobs. This huge casino will feature at least 100 game tables and around 1,000 slot machines. The construction has just been confirmed and the consortium of Hard Rock and Melco has a management agreement for the next 30 years.
Reviving the economy of the island
The main reason behind the legalisation of casinos in the south of Cyprus is the plan of the government to boost the local economy, which has suffered under a financial crisis for the last 4 years. It is estimated that 100 million euros will be generated for the government every year. The casino is planned to be inaugurated in 2018, but there is no certainty that this date is going to be definite.