Cyprus Casino Resort to Provide a 4% Boost to GDPJanuary 10, 2018 12:05 pm
Cyprus attracts more than 3.5 million tourists each year who in turn generate around 12% of the country’s annual GDP. Furthermore, 2017 was a record year for the Eastern Mediterranean island as more holidaymakers shunned destinations such as Turkey and North Africa in favor of the stable, secure sun soaked tourist hotspot.
While its tourist industry may be booming, the country is expected to receive a further €700 million ($838m) boost to its economy, worth around 4% of its GDP, following the completion of Europe’s largest integrated casino resort in 2021.
The City of Dreams Mediterranean will cost around $658 million to build, and once completed will feature a casino offering 136 table games and 1,200 slot machines, with other attractions including a plush 500-room hotel, restaurants, cafes, as well a convention centre. Needless to say, the huge development is expected to have an equally massive impact on the local economy, with an extra 2,500 staff needed to cater to the more than 300,000 additional tourists expected to visit the resort each year.
The casino resort will be based in the city of Limassol on the island’s southern coast, with the town being Cyprus’s second largest urban area behind its capital Nicosia. In the meantime, a temporary casino is set to open up in the area this summer, with another four satellite casinos spread out across the country’s main districts also scheduled to start operating around the same time.
Helping to bring the project to fruition is Macau’s Melco International in partnership with local Cypriot partner Cyprus Phassouri Ltd, with the former company holding an overall 70.74% majority share of the business. It has also been granted a 30-year casino licence to operate the venue, as well as a 15 year monopoly over the country’s nascent casino industry before any new casino licenses may be issued to other operators.
Elaborating further on the wider benefits of opening Cyprus’ first legal casino resort, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades explained: “The indirect benefit to the economy would also be big. It will add another chain in the economy as all sectors would benefit. There would be more tourist arrivals, gains from catering, transport and food.”