Melco Prepares for Opening of New Cyprus Casino

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After being chosen to build the very first casino on the island nation of Cyprus, Melco International Development reveals its plans for a lavish casino complex.  

Costs and Statistics

The hotel complex will cost about $692 million to build, and, according to Nicos Anastasiades, the president of Cyprus, there is the potential to earn almost $970 million in the first few years. With a goal to become one of the largest and greatest casinos in the world, the president also believes the casino will bring in 300,000 customers annually.

The City of Dreams

Melco, which is based in Hong Kong, also revealed the name of the resort casino. It will be called City of Dreams Mediterranean. The extravagant establishment will consist of 500 hotel rooms, an 80,000-square-foot casino, 136 gaming tables, and 1,200 slot machines. An event and convention center, which, although would not connect to the facility, will be a part of the casino. There will also be restaurants included in the facility.

Cyprus’ Phassouri Plantations Co. Ltd. has partnered with Melco on the construction the facility. They are expecting to officially open the casino’s doors in 2020.

Completion in a Few Years’ Time

While the resort will not be open officially until 2020, there are other plans that will occur while construction is being completed. Another casino will be open to the public for a short time in Limassol. The temporary resort will help to create 4,000 jobs, and, once up and running, 2,500 people will be employed. Other gambling establishments will open at the same time in the capital of Nicosia, as well as three other cities. However, they will consist mainly of slot machines. Once the temporary casinos have continued to roll in business successfully, other smaller business establishments will then be ready to begin development and open up.

The agreement between Melco and the government of Cyprus was finalized last summer. Melco received approval for the construction of the casino, which is huge for the developer. The casino resort will be the first in the Mediterranean republic since gambling was legalized by lawmakers. Melco was initially set to partner with Hard Rock International when it obtained the sole casino license in the country. However, plans fell through. The day approval had been granted to both operators, Hard Rock International decided it longer wanted to move forward with the project.

Change of plans

Before parting ways, both Hard Rock International and Melco agreed to build a casino called Euro Casino. The establishment was to consist of a theme park on top of everything else Ocean Resorts would currently have, including a 500-room hotel, 1,200 gaming slots, and 136 gaming tables. Legislation passed in 2015 that legalized casinos in the country would allow the casino license to run for a period of 30 years. For the first 15 years, Hard Rock International and Melco would be allowed to operate as a monopoly or a single-resort operation.

Although this is big and exciting news for Cyprus, the gaming industry has been around in Cyprus since the early ’70s. After the Turks invaded the country in 1974, Cyprus became a politically and ethnically divided nation. A U.N. buffer zone was created, and, in Turkish Cyprus, a lot of gaming and casino establishments were developed. However, in order for the residents of the area to attend the casinos, they would need to cross a border that was finally opened after both the South and the North signed an agreement. After the South joined the European Union in 2003, the border was removed.