Cyprus To Build One Intergrated Casino ResortJuly 19, 2013 12:09 pm
This year the Mediterranean island of Cyprus approved lifting its casino ban in a move which could generate around €50 million in annual taxes for the government. Now the cabinet has agreed that the way forward is to build just one integrated casino resort, rather than multiple casinos across the island, with Tourism Minister George Lakkotrypis, explaining:
“If we all agree that the primary goal of establishing a casino here is to enhance the quality of tourist services and attract an incremental number of tourists, the only option was an integrated resort.”
The Cyprus authorities said they now intend to issue a licence within the next 12 months, eventually leading to the creation of a global casino resort complete with hotels, restaurants, theme parks, shops, and malls. As well as bringing in much needed revenue from granting the licence and the gambling taxes imposed, the resort is also expected to give a massive boost to Cyprus’ important tourism industry, and visitor arrivals particular in relation to Russia and the Middle East. It has been estimated that once up and running the project could be worth between €600-800 million for the country’s ecomomy.
Speaking to the press after news of the integrated casino resort was announced, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said: “The aim of the government is to have a credible international bids procedure that will attract international investment interest..[it is] absolutely necessary to retain the services of external advisers with specialised knowledge and experience at all stages of the process, including the final stage of the signing of the casino development license with the successful applicant.”
As of yet it has not been decided where the casino resort will be located, but in the meantime local authorities been eager to promote their own regions as potential locations, including Famagusta and Nicosia.