Cyprus starts building Europe’s luxurious casino resort
In the midst of a financial crisis in Cyprus in 2013, nobody would have predicted that by 2018, the country would be developing Europe’s largest casino resort. On the verge of bankruptcy in 2013 to a predicted annual economic growth of 3.5% annually, Cyprus aims to become the ‘luxury tourist destination of the world’ – that’s according to the country’s’ president Nicos Anastasiades. This is the first time that Cyprus has seen an investment of this magnitude and the $651 (€550) million City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort will be operational in 2021 and will create 6,500 jobs, attract an additional 300,000 tourists each year – which will see them spend as much as $828.5 (€700) million.
Europe’s largest casino resort is underway
Lawrence Ho, the chief executive of Hong Kong-based Melco International Resorts and Entertainment, said the resort project is his company’s first expansion outside of Asia; “Our project will contribute significantly to the country’s efforts for sustainable economic growth and an increase in employment rates.” Mr Ho added that the temporary casino opening on June 28 close to the construction site, will operate until the large resort is completed.
The President said at the casino venue unveiling ceremony; “Today is a historic day, marking a major milestone. By 2021, Cyprus’s first integrated casino resort, a landmark also for the wider region, will be fully operational. Our country is much more than just an attractive ‘sun and sea’ tourist destination. Cyprus has all the prerequisites to be established as a regional and, why not, global premium destination, a genuine point of reference for luxury tourism and responsible gaming.
What to Expect
Punters can expect to find; 33 tables, 242 slots, and a VIP gaming area within the temporary casino but this is only a taster of what you can expect with the ground-breaking resort. A total of 136 tables and 1,200 gaming machines, a five-star 500 room hotel and luxury villas, 11 restaurants, retail shops, sports and wellness centres and an amphitheatre will be featured within the resort. Cyprus will also see four satellite casinos opening this year.
Cyprus is home to many top internet casinos, which can be found in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, (which is recognised only by Ankara), but with opposition from the Orthodox Church and rising fears over the social dangers of gambling had kept them out of the Greek Cypriot south – until now!
About the Owners
Mr Ho is the chairman of Melco and the son of Dr, Stanley Ho – the Hong Kong and Macau billionaire, so this venture isn’t exactly a first for the company. Lawrence Ho turned Macao Electric Lighting Company limited into Melco International Development Limited, which is one of the 100 oldest companies in Hong Kong, which was founded in 2010. The original company was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1927 until in 2004, the company joined forces with Crown Limited; also known as an Australian gaming company, which would see them creating Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (Melco Crown).