The Cypriot government has been wooed by the Far East in its quest to select a casino operator to run its resort casino along with up to four satellite venues.
It has now picked the three casino operators who will make it through to the final stage of its tender process, whittling them down from the eight involved in the round with three of the four international names involved coming from the Oceania.
Bloomberry of the Philippines and Naga Corp of Cambodia have made it through along with a consortium including Melco Entertainment of Macau and Hard Rock of the United States.
These operators will now submit their final plans for consideration including the location and the details behind their project. Under the framework, the winning bidder will have to build a holistic integrated resort, the first of its kind in Europe. It will feature 500 hotel rooms, plus a casino with more than 1,000 slot machines and 100 table games.
The winning group will be granted a 30-year casino license with an exclusivity period of 15 years. The license is supposed to be being issued in the first half of 2016.
A total of 12 major companies from the USA, Philippines, Cambodia, Russia and France had formally expressed their interest in the Cyprus licence. These casino operators paid €10,000 each for the option to bid.
The winning operator will have the option to develop, in addition to the ICR, up to four satellite casino premises, in districts other than the one where the ICR will be located. Each will be licensed for the operation of up to 50 gaming machines per location. One of these locations may exercise an additional option to operate up to five gaming tables.