Melco Cyprus has received an extension of its target opening date for its City of Dreams Mediterranean to June 30, 2023, still within its earlier stated target date of Q2 2023. When transitioned from the current temporary casino to the permanent venue the resort with gambling is expected to be the largest integrated destination resort in Europe as well as the most highly sought location.
While construction continues, the company is currently operating three permanent satellite casinos and a temporary casino which will cease to exist when the main site opens its gaming floor.
According to a report in the local Cyprus Mail, the operator is well aware of the outsized impact a successful integrated resort will have on helping to develop the island’s tourism industry which was one of the main reasons it was approved to become the first and only casino resort on the island when a license was approved in 2017. Other operators may apply for future tenders after a 30-year moratorium expires on the granting of additional licenses.
The acknowledgment of the operator’s responsibilities to the Cypriot community was expressed by senior vice president of casino sales and marketing, Grant Johnson at a recent event that marked the 5-year anniversary of the first-ever casino license issued in the country since it was divided by a UN Blue Zone from the Turkish-occupied northern part of the country following a 4-week war in 1974.
Illegal Casinos Operate Outside of Cyprus-Proper
Several casinos operate in northern Cyprus, in a sort of gray zone seemingly exempt from Turkey’s strict laws against gambling. Other pop-up and temporary casinos also operate briefly in the Blue Zone where laws have been easily manipulated and unlicensed operators can scoop in loads of cash before being shut down by laws that are difficult to enforce and prosecute.
At the event, 57 of the original employees of the licensed operation were awarded plates to commemorate their early service to the resort. Johnson said that Melco would continue to work toward assuring the country would become a global business and entertainment destination.
“Melco Cyprus is managing the temporary casino in Limassol and three satellite casinos in Nicosia, Ayia Napa, and Paphos, while at the same time developing the City of Dreams Mediterranean resort-casino, a project that aspires to be a game-changer in the island’s tourism industry,” according to an announcement from the company.
Speaking directly to team members at the event, Johnson said: “Five years ago, City of Dreams Mediterranean was a distant dream, but now we are just months away from opening.
“You have helped us grow this organization and another 2,500 colleagues will soon join our team and follow in your footsteps,” he added.
He also noted that the company and team seek to help create a sustainable future for Cyprus.
Former President Visited in February
Last month, Melco hosted former Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades at the Limassol resort.
Anastasiades said at the time: “The creation of a multi-thematic resort was one of the government’s goals since we know that its creation would contribute towards enriching our tourist product, increasing tourist arrivals and creating new jobs, with obvious benefits for the Cypriot economy.”
According to a recently released Unaudited Fourth Quarter 2022 Earnings Statement and comments by the company’s director, Lawrence Ho, the company is currently struggling with pandemic-induced losses but the temporary casino in Cyprus has surpassed 2019 revenues and City of Dreams Manila is catching up. The company was also granted a new 10-year concession for its gambling and entertainment properties in Macau.
For all outfits Cyprus operations, the company had operating revenue of US$28.7 million during the fourth quarter of last year, compared to US$22.4 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year. The company’s fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA of US$10.5 million for Cyprus operations nearly doubled those of the previous quarter.
The company kept $5 of every $100 put into slots in the last quarter of 2022 compared to $5.10 in 2021 bit volume was up this year from$30.5m in Q4 2021 to $38m in the fourth quarter of 2022,
Source: Cyprus can become a global tourism and entertainment destination, Cyprus-Mail, March 5, 2023