Tue, Jun 27, 3:55pm by Senior Writer
Melco International will build Europe’s largest casino on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
The Hong Kong-based former business partners of James Packer’s Crown Resorts group, have pressed on with their international expansion plans, partnering with American company Hard Rock and local firm CNS Group to build the casino resort in the coastal town of Limassol.
The massive complex will feature 136 gambling tables and 1,200 gambling machines, while the adjoining luxury hotel will have a 500-room capacity, a health spa and 1,500-seat concert hall.
Cyprus’ Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said the construction of the casino will begin shortly, with completion set for early 2020.
“The project as has been proposed foresees the creation of Europe’s only integrated casino resort,” Lakotryppis said. “The casino resort will among other things include Europe’s largest casino.”
The government is projecting 4000 jobs to be created during construction, with another 4000 jobs when the resort is operational.
Melco is already planning to open five smaller casinos in Cyprus from 2018 according to Andy Choy, president of Melco’s resorts and entertainment division. It holds an exclusive license to operate casinos in Cyprus for 15 years, with a 30-year licence in total.
“We understand that gaming is something that you entrust to an operator that has world-class systems in place to ensure that you get the type of economic development that you’re looking for,” Choy told AP.
The island has become a burgeoning holiday destination for Europeans, with 3.2 million visitors in 2016.
“Total investment is expected to exceed half a billion euros and is estimated to create more than 4,000 jobs during the construction phase and the same number during operation,” Lakkotrypis said.
“This is undoubtedly, a project that will enrich our tourism product, attracting an additional 300,000 tourists annually and contributing significantly to combating seasonality,” he added.
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