Strict Regulations Await Cyprus’s Future Casino

Cyprus has yet to award its lone casino license, but the government already has strict rules and sanctions waiting for the license winner.

On Wednesday, media outlet Cyprus Mail published the regulations that it claimed with govern the establishment and operation of the country’s future integrated casino resort. Officials in the Greek-controlled southern half of Cyprus have already narrowed down their casino applicant shortlist to three operators, all of which have Asian ties.

The officials are expected to make their decision sometime later this week. After the winner was named, the casino operator will have 40 days to pay the initial licensing fee to the Cypriot gaming authority before it will be officially granted the casino resort license.

According to the report, the casino operator will be obliged to pay an operator’s fee (€10,000), gaming equipment fee (€500), gaming equipment supplier’s fee (€500), casino official fee (€500), casino employee fee (€500), and fee for facilities of the satellite casino (€200.)

The license is also subject to an annual fee, with the first “payable one year after the date of issuance of the license.” Aside from the licensing fee, the government will also receive casino tax from the establishment’s monthly gross gaming revenues.

Meanwhile, the casino operator and its employees are also required to provide their fingerprints and documents that will prove “their personal finances are sound.” In addition, the employees will also need to show “any court judgement or criminal convictions against them in Cyprus or any other state where they have been residing or working over the past 10 years.”

If the operator fails to comply, “the license may be revoked or suspended” following a disciplinary hearing, the government said, according to the report.

Three operators are reportedly in a close match for the lone Cypriot license: a partnership between Florida-based Hard Rock International and Melco, Cambodia’s NagaCorp, and the Philippines’ Bloomberry Resorts. The three finalists had all identified the Nicosia area as their preferred locale for building their casino project, local media reported.


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