Minister George Lakkotrypis of the department of Energy, Commerce and Tourism in the Republic of Cyprus said Tuesday in an address to the House Commerce Committee that documents are ready and a casino bill will be presented for a vote in May.
More amendments could be added by MPs in the next couple of weeks and, “After the bill is voted in, we will give one month to interested parties to be thoroughly informed and then go to the bidding process,” he added. A license should be issued within eight months of the action.
The successful bidder will choose the district to build in and pay a licensing fee of €2.5 million annually for four years and then €5.0 million each year for the next four, as provided for in the cureent bill. A 15% levy on gross income will also be collected.
100 gaming tables, 1,000 slot machines and at least one hotel with 500 luxury rooms of five-star quality will be required of the operator.
Safeguards are in place within the bill to protect minors and vulnerable groups as well as to lend assistance to problem gamblers.
Realty Group International (RGI), a U.S. realty company based in Beverly Hills, CA, last week announced that they had opened the bidding process on some of their Cyprus holdings for the sole purpose of providing land to casino developers. One parcel is located across a prime coastal area of Larnaka and includes enough space for over 1,200,000 sq ft of build-able plots and over 1,000,000 sq feet of tourist zone areas that could be used for golf courses, horseback riding, water attractions, canals, and more.
Cyprus would become the first Western European country to build a full scale integrated casino resort. The country underwent a complete economic restructuring in 2013 which included privatization of major ports and marinas. A western style government was also elected (constitutional republic, Nicos Anastasiades President). Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, and today promises to be an attractive investment area as well as tourist destination.