The provisional opening date for the €550 million ($668 million) integrated casino resort being built in Cyprus by Melco International Development Limited has reportedly been pushed back by over nine months to the autumn of next year.

According to a Wednesday report from the Financial Mirror newspaper, construction on the giant City of Dreams Mediterranean development began in June of 2018 in hopes that the five-star facility would be able to start welcoming guests to its 500 rooms by the end of this year. The source detailed that the finished Las Vegas-style development is destined to be the largest of its type in Europe and come complete with a spa, a gym and meeting and conferencing facilities alongside a 1,500-seat theater and an 80,720 sq ft casino offering a selection of over 80 gaming tables and approximately 1,000 slots.

Devastating delay:

However, the newspaper reported that construction of the 16-story property for the Limassol suburb of Tserkezoi was paused for over seven weeks last spring as Cyprus struggled to come to terms with the coronavirus pandemic. Work only resumed in May with progress purportedly being subsequently hampered by a strict set of social distancing guidelines issued by the island nation’s Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Department of Labour Inspection and the Medical and Public Health Services division of its Ministry of Health.

Transformed target:

The Financial Mirror reported that news of the delay was relayed by the Vice-President for the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission, Phidias Pilides, during a Tuesday meeting of the House of Representatives’ Finance Committee. The official purportedly explained that Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited has now laid out a detailed post-pandemic construction timeline that is expected to see its City of Dreams Mediterranean development open before the winter of 2022.

Considerable consequences:

Melco International Development Limited is the parent of Asian casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited and was granted a 30-year license in 2017 that gave it the right to bring casino gambling to Cyprus. The firm subsequently opened its temporary C2 Limassol venue before premiering smaller ‘satellite’ facilities in the nearby communities of Nicosia, Larnaca, Ayia Napa and Paphos, which Pilides pronounced have recently seen revenues decrease owing to temporary coronavirus-related shutterings and an associated drop in tourism nationwide.