Hong Kong-listed casino investor Melco International Development Ltd says it expects to have the results of the tender for construction of its new casino project in Cyprus this month. The casino resort will be developed in Limassol, a city on the southern coast of the Mediterranean holiday island of the Republic of Cyprus.
Recent reports from local media in Cyprus had mentioned that the capital investment in the project would exceed the previously-announced construction budget of EUR550 million (US$628.5 million). The report by the Financial Mirror newspaper quoted Craig Ballantyne, president of Cyprus Casinos, as the source of information, although he did not provide any forecast.
Construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean (pictured in a rendering) – to be developed by a consortium involving a local partner – is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The 75 percent-25 percent consortium is led by Melco International and includes Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd, a Cyprus-based conglomerate.
In comments to GGRAsia, a spokesperson from Melco International said the company was “very confident in the Cyprus market”, adding that the final sum of the consortium’s investment “heavily depends on the construction cost of the resort”.
“We expect to have the results of the tendering procedure for the construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean in January 2019,” the person said in an email reply. “The construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean is expected to be completed in 2021,” their statement added.
An interim facility, dubbed by the promoters C2 Limassol, was launched in June.
In June 2017 the Republic of Cyprus gave a 30-year casino licence to Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus Ltd. The initial single Cyprus licence allows the holder to build as many as four satellite casinos in addition to the main property.
The consortium opened two satellite casinos in December, namely in Nicosia, the capital city, and at the Larnaca International Airport, near the port city of Larnaca on the south coast of Cyprus. Satellite casinos are also due to open at Paphos and the popular clubbers’ destination Ayia Napa in 2019.
Operations of the temporary casino will cease when the City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort is launched, while the four satellite casinos will continue to operate, noted the company.
Cyprus media reported on Thursday that the government has established a dedicated tourism ministry, which will also be responsible for overseeing the country’s gaming industry.
The Neos Kosmos outlet reported that Savvas Perdios was sworn in as the country’s first-ever Deputy Minister for Tourism. The new office is established as a Deputy Ministry but will assume all of the responsibilities of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, which will be extinguished.
Tourism was previously part of a wider ministerial portfolio that also covered energy, commerce and industry. Travel and tourism accounted for 22.3 percent of Cypriot economic output in 2017, according to data from the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council, cited by Bloomberg. Revenue from tourism rose 2.3 percent in the first nine months of 2018 to 2.27 billion euros (US$2.6 billion), added the financial news service.
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”I haven’t seen the exact proposal, but in general, yes. I think that’s a good idea [to impose an additional tax on POGOs]”
Philippine Finance Secretary