Hong Kong-listed gaming and entertainments giant Melco International Development Limited has signed a deal that is set to see it increase its stake in a future integrated casino resort being planned for the southern coast of Cyprus.

Melco International Development Limited is the parent of Macau casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited and it revealed that yesterday saw it enter into a ‘definitive joint venture investment agreement’ with local conglomerate The Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Limited that will see it pay $188.5 million in order to increase its existing holdings in the planned scheme for the area around Limassol by 4.26% to 75%.

As a result, Melco International Development Limited explained that The Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Limited’s share in the coming project, which could additionally include up to four satellite casinos, will decrease by the same percentage to 25% although it is still due to be responsible for the land on which the scheme is eventually built.

Melco International Development Limited declared that it considers the possibility of building and running an integrated casino resort in Cyprus to be ‘an attractive business opportunity’ that is in keeping with its aim of ‘establishing itself as a global entertainment and gaming operator’.

“Partnering with The Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Limited, a strong local partner and member of the CNS Group, is expected to be highly beneficial to the development of the project,” read a statement (pdf) from Melco International Development Limited.

Led by businessman Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Hong Kong-based Melco International Development Limited declared that it expects the entire transaction to be completed before the end of December while detailing that Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited or another of its subordinates will be responsible for managing the coming Cypriot integrated casino resort in partnership with license holder ICR Cyprus Holdings Limited.

“Those services include development management services in relation to the design, construction and development process for the integrated casino resort, pre-opening and related services, corporate management services and the provision of intellectual property and proprietary systems,” read the statement from Melco International Development Limited.