The Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris reported on Thursday that operations are on again at ‘casinos’ in the village of Pyla, in Larnaca District, Cyprus, not under the same names, however, after having been forced to shut down following November 2nd police raids.
A source reportedly claimed that the eight casinos, which were operating disguised as bars and internet cafes, were being run by Greek Cypriots. In seven cases, however, the buildings where the gaming enterprises were being operated from belonged to Turkish Cypriots, with only one belonging to a Greek Cypriot. All of the eight, however, are said to have caused a “serious disturbance” among both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the village, according to the report.
The people in the village reportedly said that business resumed at the casinos just one week after the police raid. According to the news agency, reports have suggested that two individuals in Pyla have been killed due to issues related to the casinos and that the inhabitants of the mixed village were feeling a serious threat.
The raids on the eight casinos in November were a joint effort between Turkish Cypriot authorities and police.
Raids conducted on XXL Casino, Andrew’s Café, Scorpio’s Casino, Purple Cafe & Bar, Sir John Casino, Olympic Casino, Lion Casino, and Win Casino netted the arrests of one Romanian, three Vietnamese, six Turkish Cypriots, and 37 Greek Cypriots.
The Pyla casinos are located in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus which is neither Turkish, nor Greek controlled. Pyla is one of only four villages located within the zone. There are about 30 true casinos operating in the Turkish controlled northern regions of the country. A single license has been granted in the southern part of the country where Europe’s first and largest integrated casino resort is under development by the Melco/Hard Rock consortium.
May 8-9, Eventus International will host the first ever Cyprus iGaming Show at the Kaya Artemis Resort and Casino, Bafra, North Cyprus. Keeping gaming crime free and anti-money laundering will reportedly be the focus of the two-day event.