Melco International Development Ltd has opened a temporary casino in Cyprus to cater to players until the City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort it is creating with local partners is complete.
Thursday’s soft opening of the stopgap casino – which the firm is calling “C2” – in the southern city of Limassol, comes ahead of a more formal launch in September for the temporary facility. The Cyprus Mail newspaper reported that C2 would remain open until 2021, when construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean – also located in Limassol – should be finished.
“Even though C2 is a pop-up casino, this property will give new meaning to the term,” said Craig Ballantyne, president of an entity called City of Dreams Mediterranean and Cyprus Casinos, as quoted by the Cyprus Mail newspaper. “We’ve invested close to EUR13 million [USD15 million] in this facility to ensure that every one of our guests experiences the renowned standards and quality of service which Melco, one of the world’s largest integrated resort operators, is famous for.” Hong Kong-listed Melco International is the parent of Asian casino developer Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
The Cyprus temporary casino is inside a former supermarket in the Zakaki district. The premises have a floor area of 4,600 square metres (49,500 sq feet), and offer a gaming area of 1,300 square metres. The facility can play host to up to 1,000 customers.
The temporary casino has 33 gaming tables and 242 slot machines, a VIP gaming area, a restaurant and two bars. It is open around the clock. The operator expects about 25,000 patrons a month. Nobody under the age of 21 will be admitted, reported the news outlet.
The establishment is said to employ 593 people, 75 percent of them Cypriots. All will transfer to the City of Dreams Mediterranean in 2021. The EUR500-million City of Dreams Mediterranean could create about 6,500 jobs and attract 300,000 extra visitors to the island each year, say the promoters.
Limassol’s C2 temporary casino is the first gaming facility that Melco International Development has opened outside Asia. A further four satellite casinos branded “C2” will open in Cyprus this year; in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos, Melco International chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho Yau Lung said earlier this month.
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