Southern Cyprus’ Council of Ministers have decided to grant one license for an integrated casino resort, with the licensing procedure starting immediately on a “fast-track” basis. “The Council of Ministers decided today to grant one license for the creation of an integrated casino resort in Cyprus,” said Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides.
Cyprus has been planning to lift a ban on casinos under a package of reforms to kickstart its ailing economy since April, when the government indicated that the first casinos will begin their operation in Cyprus in two years and confirmed that they had requested that the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) to update the studies they have carried out in 2007. Bold pledges by the former president Demitris Christofias that casinos would never operate under his watch were brushed aside in 2011 as the global financial storm started to take its toll on state coffers.
Mr. Stylianides explained that the procedure for granting the license will start immediately on a “fast track” basis and will be completed in 12 months “because the country`s economic and tourist development needs a casino with specifications of the same standards as those of the big casinos around the world.”
The Spokesman said the Council of Ministers considers that “it is absolutely necessary to retain external advisers with specialised knowledge and experience at all stages of the process, including the final stage of the signing of the casino development license with the successful applicant.”
“The aim of the Government is to have a credible international procedure that will attract international investment interest for the creation of casino-resort in Cyprus,” Mr. Stylianides concluded.