Asian gaming and entertainments giant Melco International Development Limited has used its annual financial results to announce that it intends to launch a temporary gambling venue in Cyprus later this year in advance of premiering a full-scale integrated casino resort for the island nation in 2021.

Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited is the majority owner of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited while June saw it win the license for Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort near the southern city of Limassol. This $573 million facility, which could also include up to four satellite venues, is purportedly due to feature 500 hotel rooms alongside a 70,000 sq ft casino offering approximately 1,000 slots and some 100 gaming tables.

“In 2018, the group will commence operating a temporary casino facility while working towards a 2021 targeted opening for the permanent integrated casino resort,” read a statement (pdf) from Melco International Development Limited.

Melco International Development Limited is due to own 75% of the future Cyprus integrated casino resort after inking a deal in December with local conglomerate The Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Limited although its partner is to be responsible for the land on which the scheme is eventually built.

Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman for Melco International Development Limited, additionally used his firm’s annual financial results to declare that Japan remains a ‘development priority’ and that he hopes to secure the rights to open ‘a uniquely Japanese integrated resort’ complete with ‘world-class entertainment, market-leading social safeguards and diversified tourism attractions’.

“Last year we completed several critical steps to advance our long-term strategy in the market,” read a statement from Ho. “After unveiling the inspiration in February of 2017 for an initial design concept for an original integrated resort unique to the market, Melco Resorts [and Entertainment Limited] established a Japanese subsidiary, opened an office in Tokyo and appointed a local leadership team in the last quarter of the year.”

Regarding its financials for the twelve months to the end of December, Melco International Development Limited explained that adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization had improved by over 80% year-on-year to reach $1.24 billion while net revenues rose by 70% to hit $5.24 billion.

“The increase was due to stronger results in 2017,” read the statement from Melco International Development Limited. “Additionally, the prior year results reflected approximately eight months of consolidated results of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited compared to a full year of consolidated results in 2017.”