Asian gaming and entertainments giant, Melco International Development Limited, has reportedly announced that it intends to inaugurate a temporary casino for Cyprus by the end of the month ahead of the envisioned 2021 opening of its $648 million City of Dreams Mediterranean development.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Hong Kong-listed firm plans to open the interim Cypriot facility near Limassol on June 28, complete with 242 slots as well as 33 gaming tables. The report explained that the temporary casino will cost approximately $14.13 million to construct and be shuttered once the much larger City of Dreams Mediterranean begins welcoming players.

Melco International Development Limited is already responsible via its majority-owned Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited enterprise for the City of Dreams Manila, Altira Macau, Studio City Macau and City of Dreams Macau venues as well as the Mocha Clubs chain of electronic gaming machine parlors. Last year saw it win the license for Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort and the 500-room facility coming later this month is due to feature eleven restaurants in addition to a 70,000 sq ft gaming floor complete with approximately 1,200 slots alongside some 136 gaming tables.

Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman for Melco International Development Limited, reportedly used the Friday ground-breaking ceremony for his firm’s latest venture to detail that the coming property will ‘contribute significantly to the country’s efforts for sustainable economic growth and an increase in employment rates.’

Inside Asian Gaming also reported that the resort is to feature just over 12,900 sq ft of retail besides some 107,639 sq ft of meetings and exhibition space, while the operator plans to complement the giant property by opening four smaller satellite casinos beginning with venues for Paphos and Nicosia beginning in November.

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, told those assembled for the Friday ground-breaking that direct investment by foreign firms such as, Melco International Development Limited, represents ‘a fundamental pillar towards sustainable economic growth and prosperity.’ He declared that the project will bring ‘extraordinary benefits for our economy’ and help the island nation to improve its economy and reduce unemployment.

“Our country is much more than just an attractive sun and sea tourist destination,” Anastasiades stated. “Cyprus has all the prerequisites to be established as a regional and why not global premium destination; a genuine point of reference for luxury tourism and responsible gaming.”