It’s been a long two years since Cyprus announced its intention to allow construction on a casino resort, but the end is finally in sight. Per reports, the bill that would “seal the deal” is set to be introduced to Parliament and on March 10th, the Cyprus House of Representatives will put it to a vote.
The vote will be on a piece of legislation that touches on the building of the first integrated casino resort in Cyprus. The difference between this particular proposed casino resort and the others that already reside in the Republic of Cyprus? It would hail from the Southern part of the island. Cyprus already has casino-like establishments on the Northern side of the island, but with Cyprus being divided since 1974, both sides have not seen the same luxuries to this point.
Government spokesperson Nicos Christodoulides touched on the obvious recently, in reference to the potential positive impact of a casino resort coming to the Sourthern side of the island:
“This will be one of the most important infrastructure projects in Cyprus in coming years.”
Christodoulides went on to suggest that the long-term plan is for Cyprus to issue a 30-year casino licence, along with a 15-year exclusivity agreement for the successful bidder.
While bidding for the license has been going on for some time, it was dwindled down to 8 prospective bidders back in December and as recently as January the number was down to three.
Current speculation is that the casino license will fall into the hands of the “top gambling group from Asia”, which some suspect will be Blomberry Resorts Inc. Leo Venezuela, the company’s director of investor relations, already let the cat out of the bag back in December by letting it be known that his company was interested in building the casino.
Of course, no one will know for sure who will be planning the building of the casino resort until after the vote takes place on March 10th. Per Cyprus Mail, the top three candidates for operating the casino will be announced following the vote.
Commerce committee chairman Zacharias Zachariou stated that the final draft of the casino regulations is in place and that everything is in order and aligns with the top international casinos.
“The regulations are sufficiently stringent, aim to protect the public and gamblers in the casino, and are on a par with those in force at European and international casinos across the planet.”
In addition to basic regulations, the Cyprus casino regulations proposed include employee fingerprints and that all of the top casino operator candidates will undergo strict inspections under the Gaming Authority. The regulations also encourage the casino not to overly self-promote either the casino itself or the act of gambling.
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