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Cyprus – Cyprus operator could be given temporary head start

By - 25 November 2013

The government in Southern Cyprus said it will consider allowing the winner of its first casino licence to open a temporary casino until the larger resort developed is constructed, allowing the operator and the state to both begin earning revenue more quickly.

The target is to license the casino within 14 months.

Energy and Commerce Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said: “Because the integrated resort will take time to build, one thought, which needs further study with our consultants, is whether we could give the winning consortium the license permission to operate a casino temporarily for two or three years until the creation of the integrated resort. This way, the government will start receiving revenue, but also securing the license will become more attractive because the winning consortium won’t have to wait two or three years until there is liquidity.”

The decision to move forward with just one casino licence has caused controversy in Southern Cyprus with the different regions complaining it is unfair to reward just one region with a casino resort. In October a dramatic about turn, saw Government suggest that a single investor might be given the opportunity to run not one but three casinos as extensions of the single licence.

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