Following a May vote on The Cypriot Casino bill to legalise a casino resort on the southern part of the island where casinos previously have been outlawed there has been an official bid on the first and only casino resort license.
Eight companies have formally shown interest in bidding for the one casino license up for grabs with the Cypriot Gaming Commission. Last friday was the deadline for submission of the expression of interest in the casino license. The Cypriot Commerce, Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry issued a statement confirming that eight individual gambling companies were interested in the license and that three would be short listed.
The bidders include a French business consortium with Bouygues Batiment International, Accord Hotels and casino operator Barriere, Hard Rock International from USA, Cambodia’s NagaCorp, Bloomberry Resorts, Phillippines and finally a Russian Conglomerate. The firms paid €10,000 each for the bid to obtain this single license.
The Cypriot government will follow up these applications by requesting details proposals on the respective bidders projects. The license will be awarded in 2016. After the license is awarded to the interested party, the party will have 24 months in which they must turn their project into a reality. The chosen party will also be given the opportunity to build a temporary casino within a year in order to start earning on their investment whist building a permanent project. The casino will be built on a privately owned site and should have 1,000 gaming machines and 100 tables. Additionally, the plans will allow for a 5 star hotel or hotels with a capacity of at least 500 rooms to cater to tourists to the casino.
The bill will allow the chosen operator the decision around where to build the casino. Additionally, the operator will be required to pay an annual licensing fee of €2.5 million for the first four years. This fee will rise to €5.0 million annually for the following four years. Moreover, the chosen operator will also pay 15% tax on gross income. This deal will still be extremely positive for the operator in terms of profitability.
The bill also has rules around the protection of minors and vulnerable groups of the population. Additionally, there will be provisions for gambling addiction in the region. Minister Costa suggests that they will be creating a fund within the state to tackle problems that could emerge as a result of the resort.
This is a boost for Cypriot casino tourism and should boost revenues in the Cypriot economy.Last month, the Cyprus Tourism Organization said the casino is expected to draw 500,000 tourists per annum. These tourists are likely to be made up of UK, Russian, Greek, Swedish and German tourists. Additionally, given Chinese tourists propensity for Gambling the Cypriot government will also make it easier for Chinese tourists to travel to the island. The aim is to attract a further 400,000 Chinese tourists to the island per annum.