After last week winning the right to build and operate the first integrated casino resort in Cyprus, the consortium led by Melco International Development Limited could now reportedly receive its license for the coming enterprise by the end of the year.

According to a report from The Associated Press news service, the revelation was made by Constantinos Petrides, Deputy Minister for Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, on Friday although he stressed that the government must still carry out a final assessment of the bid before issuing the license.

“The consortium has been invited by the coordinating committee to submit an application for licensing under which the due-diligence check will be carried out as provided by the documents of the invitation and the law,” read a statement from Cyprus’ Ministry Of Energy, Commerce, Industry And Tourism cited by the Cyprus Mail newspaper. “Subject to the successful completion of the aforementioned control, the permit will be issued.”

Cyprus is currently enjoying a bumper year in terms of tourism as total arrivals for 2016 are expected to top 3.1 million, which would be a 17% increase year-on-year and 400,000 more than the previous record set in 2001, with The Associated Press reporting that Petrides stated that the new casino development would serve as a further boon for the small island nation’s economy.

Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited, which is controlled by gaming entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung and operates the Studio City Casino Macau via its Melco Crown Entertainment Limited joint venture with Australian firm Crown Resorts Limited, is partnering with Hard Rock International and local firm Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Limited to build and operate the Cypriot integrated casino resort. Due to be constructed on the southern coast near the country’s second largest city, Limassol, the development is expected to feature a luxury 500-room hotel offering up to 1,000 slots as well as some 100 table games.

When eventually granted, the license will be valid for 30 years and contain a 15-year exclusivity clause while The Associated Press reported that Petrides believes that it could lead to around $553.2 million in additional investments and create thousands of new jobs.

“The consortium welcomes the decision and looks forward to collaborating with the Cyprus government to meet the set targets and establish a world-class integrated casino resort that will be highly beneficial to the economy and tourism of Cyprus,” read a statement from Melco International Development Limited.

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