Finance Minister Harris Georgiades expects a net revenue of €100 million per year to fill the RoC’s coffers when the integrated casino-resort operates in its full capacity.
“And this is half the story,” Georgiades told the press.
“The indirect benefit to the economy would also be big. It will add another chain in the economy as all sectors would benefit. There would be more tourist arrivals, gains from catering, transport and food,” he added.
There will also be more employment opportunities with “at least 2,400 people to be employed” in total.
The Finance Minister expects the contract between Melco-Hard Rock consortium and the government to be signed imminently.
The signatures will be penned as soon as Nicosia provide the consortium – comprising of Melco International, Hard Rock International and Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki)- with some last minute clarifications in the fine print of the contract.
Both parties in the deal have expressed no concern about the end result.
“It will be the largest integrated casino resort in Europe in a prime European location, in a country which enjoys the best weather in the continent. To me, it sounds like an excellent business proposition. I am very confident it will be successful,” Georgiades said.
The game plan
Insiders told the press that Melco and Hard Rock will implement the game plans they have employed extensively in their other casinos around the world. High rollers would be offered sweet incentives to come and play in Cyprus.
Free flights, accommodation, tours and other perks a holiday resort can offer. The format has been tested in Las Vegas and other casino resorts internationally, with satisfying results for the operators.
The consortium’s detailed business plan will be thoroughly examined by the Casino Gaming Authority, which recently got the green light from the cabinet.
We understand the evaluation process will be tough, but the consortium is not concerned. Insiders pointed out that the companies bank on their extensive experience on running casinos in very competitive markets.
“Some ofthe largest casino operators in the world have undertaken this project in Cyprus. They know their business,” the Finance Minister said.