Casinos in Cyprus
The debate on whether to open a Casino has been going on for decades. The biggest opponent has always been the Church of Cyprus who feared that opening a casino would destroy family life in Cyprus. It seems that finally the pros and cons have been weighed and the pros of having casinos in Cyprus have won. It is true to say that most Cypriots are born gamblers and it is inevitable that some families will suffer, but the government cannot be responsible for their woes. It makes economic sense to open the casinos as they will be contributing to the increase in tourism and to the economy of Cyprus as a whole. The other plus is that these casinos will create new jobs for the Cypriot community.
The Consortium Integrated Casino Resorts (ICRC) is behind the construction of the new Casino Resort in Limassol. The resort has been named ‘City of Dreams Mediterranean’ and is expected to take up to three years to complete, opening in 2021. This is the first of its kind in Cyprus and the investment is expected to exceed half a billion Euros while employing over 11,000 people and boosting the economy by 695 million Euros. Employment positions available will reach 4,372 and its contribution to the economy of Cyprus is expected to reach 425 million annually.
The casino facilities will include a large gaming area with 136 tables and 1200 slot machines, a 5 star hotel with 500 rooms and luxury villas. There will be 11 restaurants and cafes, a wellness centre, a sport centre and magnificent indoor and outdoor swimming pools. An outdoor amphitheatre and extended landscaped green areas will bring the outdoor areas together. A shopping mall and a conference centre with exhibition halls will also be built to attract conference tourism. Melco is an important development vector for the economy and this project will enhance tourism and benefit all citizens in Cyprus.
In the meantime a temporary casino has been built in Zakaki, Limassol paving the way for the big launch of ‘City of Dreams Mediterranean’ in 2021. The C2 Cyprus casino which is located near the Mall in Limassol will be operational until then. This is by no means a substandard casino and it cost near to 13million Euros to construct. Thousands of people are enjoying the casino with its up to date 242 slot machines and 33 popular table games. There is also a VIP gaming area, a restaurant and bar areas which serve food and drink. The casino is open 24/7 and in order to be allowed in you must be over the age of 21. This temporary casino employs just under 600 people of which 75% are Cypriot. It is expected that the staff of the C2 Cyprus will automatically be transferred to the new resort when it is completed. This is the first casino that the Melco Group has opened outside Asia. Four C2 satellite casinos will also be opening in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta and the Paphos area in 2018.
The largest satellite casino, housing 50 slot machines and five games tables will be in Nicosia and is expected to be housed in a building opposite the Hilton Park Hotel along Grivas Digheni Avenue in Engomi. In Larnaca, the consortium has chosen premises along the Phinikoudes promenade.