Society

Hong Kong Tycoon Ho Makes Big Bet on Cyprus Casino

October 30, 2018

The Hong Kong casino giant Melco International is betting its $630 million investment to build a giant casino on Cyprus – which is enjoying record tourism seasons – will pay off in a big way.
Forbes magazine said City of Dreams Mediterranean hopes to lure 300,000 customers annually with a temporary casino already operating on the island bringing in big numbers, especially high rollers who make big bets.

“I was in Cyprus recently for the City Of Dreams Mediterranean groundbreaking and was struck not only by the beauty of the island and its setting, but the scale of the joint opportunity ahead of us,” Chairman and CEO of Melco, Lawrence Ho, told Forbes.

He said that, “Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades described our investment as having extraordinary benefits to their economy, both in terms of GDP, and from the critical perspective of job creation. But beyond the numbers, what we mustn’t overlook, is that Melco is going to bring the world to Cyprus.”

Ho’ s strategy is to go luxury. “Since we opened our first resort in Macau more than ten years ago, Melco has been continually redefining luxury and pleasure for a sophisticated international audience. Our newest hotel, Morpheus, is a case in point. Designed by Zaha Hadid, its iconic structure houses the most incredible combination of exciting, unforgettable guest experiences and it’s this level of excitement and entertainment that’s in store for Cyprus.”

The integrated casino resort will feature 500 five-star guestrooms, exclusive suites and villas and 11 world-class restaurants and bars. Recreation, sport and leisure facilities will include a spa, fitness studios and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

The gaming area will cover 7,500 square meters (80,729 square feet) with some 140 tables and 1,200 gaming machines to go along with 1,200 square meters (12,917 square feet) of retail area designed to look like the streets of Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia, although it’s being built in Limassol.

The contract provides for an operation license of 30 years and exclusivity for 15 years but there is competition of sorts on the island with 20 casinos in the occupied northern third seized during a Turkish invasion in 1974, but none of the scale of Melco’s.

City of Dreams Mediterranean is projected to open its doors in 2021 and is expected to create around 2,400 permanent jobs once fully operational along with four satellite casinos across the rest of the island, in Nicosia, Larnaca, Paphos and Ayia Napa.

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