Hong Kong-listed casino operator and developer NagaCorp Ltd will proceed to the final bid stage regarding the single casino licence on offer in the Republic of Cyprus, two people with direct knowledge of the process have separately told GGRAsia.
The deadline for final submissions to the government of the ethnic Greek portion of the Mediterranean island is October 5, reported on Tuesday the Cyprus Mail, quoting comments by Tourism Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis.
Cyprus-based online media outlet the Famagusta Gazette reported last week – quoting a local official it didn’t identify – that NagaCorp and another of the three shortlisted candidates – Philippines-based casino developer Bloomberry Resorts Corp – had not up to that point been able to find suitable land for their respective proposals.
On Tuesday, Bloomberry Resorts told GGRAsia by email that it was “no longer pursuing” its bid for a gaming permit on the popular holiday island.
But one of two people approached by GGRAsia – that have direct knowledge of the process regarding NagaCorp’s Cyprus efforts – told us this week: “NagaCorp will submit a [final] bid by October 5.” The person declined to comment on whether that implied NagaCorp had been able to come to some arrangement regarding land for such a scheme.
GGRAsia approached Tim McNally, chairman of NagaCorp, for confirmation that the firm would proceed to the final bid stage in Cyprus, but he declined to comment.
NagaCorp currently runs a single flagship property – NagaWorld – in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh; and is in the early stages of building another in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone near the Pacific port of Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.
The third of the three Cyprus bidders to make the original shortlist is a consortium made up of: Asian casino investor and developer Melco International Development Ltd, led by casino entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung; Seminole HR Holdings LLC, owner of Hard Rock International; and a local conglomerate called Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd.
GGRAsia also approached Melco International asking it to confirm whether it and its partners will proceed to the final bid stage regarding the Cyprus licence, but the company had not issued a response by the time this story went online.
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 will also be allowed to build a satellite casino and three slot parlours in the country.
The original deadline for final Cyprus proposals had been early July. The consortium led by Melco International lodged an objection to the extension to October, reported local media in June.
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.
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”Assuming that our [Tigre de Cristal] phase two project and the other future operators’ development plans remain on track, we may see the benefits of a ‘cluster’ effect [in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone] as early as 2021”
Summit Ascent, lead developer of Tigre de Cristal