Having been fully translated from English into Greek, regulations for the first legal casino in Cyprus are set to be heard before the full House of Representatives on March 10. The delay is seen to have been caused by ambiguities in precise legal language due to an incomplete earlier translation. Approval is expected, and with acceptance the government will announce the three finalists for the republic’s first integrated casino resort license.
The chairs of parliamentary committees who held a joint session on the regulations are satisfied that the regulations are comprehensive, meeting international standards, and strict enough to protect citizens and casino visitors.
Much is at stake for the companies and consortia who hope to win the public tender process as the winning bidder will receive a 30 year license with no competition for at least 15 years. Once the list is winnowed to the final three – thought to include Hardrock International, Bloomberry Resorts, and NagaCorp – the bidding process will begin in earnest. In the final round of competition the contenders will need to express their choice of location for an integrated casino resort along with detailed plans of their proposal. Once a winner is chosen, which is expected later this year, they can set up temporary facilities and begin generating revenue immediately while the full scale resort is developed.
If all goes according to schedule the license will be granted within the calendar year and the resort should open within two to three years. A minimum of 500 luxury hotel rooms exceeding 5 star standards will accompany a casino with at least 100 slots and 1,000 traditional and electronic tables. Should the operator wish to install more than 200 gaming tables and/or 2000 gaming machines, approval from the Casino Gaming Commission will be required.
Although no other facilities are required, the suitors will likely focus their plans to include conference, meeting, and convention facilities, paid for and complimentary attractions, sports venues and facilities, retail and dining venues, recreational amenities, entertainment venues, and tourist services. The government of Cyprus will choose the plan that best meets their goal of creating the “leading integrated casino resort in Europe and among the best in the world,” according to official documents. (Licensing Update .pdf July 2015)