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Cyprus – Cyprus casino bill presented to parliament

By - 5 January 2015

The Cypriot Cabinet has now presented a bill governing the establishment, operation and monitoring of Cyprus’ first ever casino, to parliament.

It has already been checked by the Attorney-general’s office, with the accompanying regulations to reach the House soon.

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism is now inviting interested parties to submit their comments on the draft regulations, which have been posted on the ministry’s website.

The Ministry said: Following a relevant Council of Ministers decision dated 10.12.2014, the bill “Law to Regulate the Establishment, Operation, Function, Control and Supervision of a Casino and Relevant Matters of 2014” has been presented to the House of Representatives for enactment. The relevant Regulations have been drafted and, following the completion of legal review by the Office of the Attorney General, will be presented to the House of Representatives for enactment. The Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism invite interested parties to provide comments relating to the draft Regulations until midnight January 16 2015. A summary of relevant comments will be posted on the Ministry’s website at the end of the process.”

Media reports out of Cyprus have linked names such as Caesars Entertainment, Genting and Las Vegas Sands to the process.

The operator will be allowed to select which district the resort will be located in, which is seen by some as an avoidance tactic by the government. It will be given a 30-year license, with a guaranteed monopoly for the first 15, in exchange for 15 per cent of the casino’s annual gross revenues. The annual gaming license will cost €2.5m for the first four years of operating, then €5m for the next four.

The operator is also expected to be allowed two satellite casinos alongside the larger resort style licence, which must have at least 1,000 slots and 100 tables alongside 500 hotel rooms.

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