The consortium of Melco International, Hard Rock International and Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) has already secured a location in Limassol for the main resort west of the port. However, it aims to start operating an intermediate casino in Limassol within 2017, as well as a five-table casino in Nicosia.
“Investors have a long list of places, but have not yet agreed,” a person within the investor group told the press.
Another source said that a location in Nicosia is being scouted.
“Investors are seriously examining a real-estate location on Makarios Avenue for one of the satellite casinos,” aperson in a position to know told the Cyprus Weekly, while the consortium declined to comment on this specific location.
Other cities will have casinos, but without tables.
The well-known Monte Caputo night spot outside Limassol had been named in the local media as the place that would host the intermediate casino. However, this notion was dismissed by the owner, who said he had not agreed to rent his property.
Any decision that the investors will take is subject to approval from the newly-appointed Gaming and Casino Supervision Authority, which also needs to grant the official casino licence. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the licence will be granted by the end of March.
Smoking in the casino
Meanwhile, investors are waiting for parliament’s decision regarding smoking in the casino. The government had originally approved smoking in the casino but the opposition has pointed out EU legislation that bans indoor smoking.
The government has defended plans to allow smoking in the country’s first casinos to avoid the project collapsing, as happened in Spain.
Last month minister of energy, commerce, industry and tourism George Lakkotrypis told MPs that smoking would be permitted in certain areas of the casino-resort and four satellite casinos.