Philippines-based casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp has confirmed that it has pulled out of the bidding for a single gaming licence in the Republic of Cyprus.
“We are confirming that we are no longer pursuing our bid to acquire a gaming licence in Cyprus,” Bloomberry’s director of investor relations, Leo Venezuela, said on Tuesday in an emailed response to GGRAsia. He did not disclose the reasons why Bloomberry had dropped out of the race.
The Cyprus government had announced in March a list of three preferred bidders for the first casino resort in the ethnic Greek portion of the Mediterranean island (pictured).
The shortlist comprised: Philippine casino operator Bloomberry; Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd, operator of the NagaWorld casino resort in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh; and a consortium involving Melco International Development Ltd, Seminole HR Holdings LLC which is the owner of Hard Rock International, and a local partner, Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd.
The original deadline to submit the final bids for the single licence was to have been July 5, but it was extended to October 5, according to local media reports.
The time extension was granted despite the opposition of the consortium involving Melco International, a company controlled by gaming entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung.
In-cyprus.com, an online outlet connected to Cyprus Weekly newspaper, reported in June that the deadline had been moved after NagaCorp and Bloomberry asked, separately, for more time to reach agreements for land acquisition and to deal with official paperwork.
Cyprus-based online media outlet Famagusta Gazette reported last week – quoting an unnamed Cypriot official – that Bloomberry and NagaCorp had not yet been able to find suitable land for their planned casino resorts.
The winner of the final round of the bidding contest would be awarded a 30-year casino licence. After 15 years of exclusivity for the winner, competing licences might then be issued to other parties, according to local media reports.
Each bidder’s final proposal must include at least 500 luxury hotel rooms, 1,000 gaming machines, and 100 gaming tables, according to the specially drafted local legislation. The winning firm would also be allowed to build a satellite casino and three slot parlours in the country.
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”Month-to-date [in October], we are encouraged that our properties have crossed property-EBITDA break-even levels, led by the recovery in the premium segments”
Chief executive and president of MGM Resorts