Melco International Development Ltd led by Hong Kong tycoon Lawrence Yo confirmed that the Melco International Consortium met the October 5 deadline for submitting its final bid to obtain the single casino license for a casino to be developed in the Republic of Cyprus. The government of the Mediterranean island for the ethnic Greek portion confirmed that it had received Melco International’s final bid.

The Melco International consortium includes Hard Rock International Inc which is owned by the Seminole Tribe and Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd (CPZL) a local company. The Cyprus government had earlier shortlisted the Melco International Consortium, NagaCorp Ltd which operates the NagaWorld casino in Cambodia and Bloomberry Resorts Corp which runs the Solaire Casino Resort in the Philippines. However NagaCorp and Bloomberry dropped out of the bidding process and confirmed that they had not sent in a final bid. This officially makes Melco International consortium the only bidder to submit a proposal for the casino license which is expected to be issued during the fourth quarter of 2016.

The Cyprus government had earlier extended the deadline for the final bid to be submitted after NagaCorp and Bloomberry requested for additional time as they had not yet finalized a possible site for the casino and also had official paperwork to be completed. The deadline was extended from July 5 to October 5. The Melco consortium opposed the request for additional time but the government extended the timeframe. The Cyprus government issued a statement which was published by the Cyprus Mail which said that the government was happy that the Melco International consortium decided to develop a casino resort in Cyprus and venture into the European market.

In a statement, the Melco International consortium said “Capitalising on Melco International’s unique experience in creating the most spectacular integrated resorts in Asia, as well as Hard Rock’s proven track record of delivering differentiated hospitality driven experiences across the globe, the consortium looks forward to collaborating with the Cyprus government to establish a world-class integrated casino resort that will be beneficial to the economy and tourism of Cyprus.”

The Cyprus government had set a number of stipulations that the final proposal must include. Some of these situations included building a gaming floor that could accommodate a minimum of 100 tables, 1,000 electronic gaming machines and a luxury hotel that had at least 500 hotel rooms. The single casino license would be issued for a period of 30 years and give the winning bidder 15 years of exclusivity in the region after which more casino licenses could be issued to other casino operators. The government will also permit casino operator who won the license to develop three slot parlours and a satellite casino in the country.