Energy, Tourism, and Commerce Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis (pictured on right) said on Friday that Cyprus’ casino is slated to be Europe’s largest, according to a Cyprus News Agency (CNA) report.

Lakkotrypis, who assumed the office in 2013, said that the casino will be Europe’s only multi-thematic casino, based on those in Asia and the U.S. and will be the biggest based on the number of slot machines and table games, according to CNA.

In September, the competition for a single casino license in Cyprus came down to one candidate when NagaCorp Ltd., stated in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it would not be proceeding to the final bid stage. That decision was immediately followed by a confirmation from a consortium involving Melco International Development Ltd, led by gaming entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung; alongside Seminole HR Holdings LLC, owner of the Hard Rock International brand; and local conglomerate Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd., that it would be submitting a final bid for the single Cypriot casino concession.

Shortly after, the Melco-Hard Rock Resorts Cyprus consortium announced that it had received approval from the Cyprus government to build and operate Europe’s first integrated casino resort. A recent report suggests that the consortium could open a temporary training venue in Limassol by the end of 2017.

The consortium, along with NagaCorp Ltd., and Philippine casino developer Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, were shortlisted for the casino license in March. The three were among eight who initially expressed interest in the tender process, the winner of which would be awarded a 30-year license with the possibility of competing licenses being issued in 15 years.

In keeping with the specially drafted local legislation, a minimum of 500 luxury hotel rooms, 100 gaming tables, and 1,000 gaming machines must be included in the final proposal for the Cyprus license. In addition, the winning bidder will be allowed to build three slot parlors and a satellite casino in the country.

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