Short list of casino in­vestors TBA in Fe­bru­ary

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The short list of in­vestors for the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­te­grated casino re­sort in Cyprus will be an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary, En­ergy and Tourism Min­istry Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Ste­lios Hi­monas said.

Briefing a joint ses­sion of the House Com­mit­tees on Fi­nances and Com­merce on the reg­u­la­tions for the op­er­a­tion of a casino, he said that in one month the Min­istry will have the short list of the in­vestors ready.

He also urged the MPs to ap­prove the reg­u­la­tions pro­vid­ing for the op­er­a­tion of a casino.

Dur­ing the first phase of the pro­ce­dure eight in­vestors sub­mit­ted their of­fers

Hi­monas said the reg­u­la­tions for the op­er­a­tion of the casino re­sort had been sub­mit­ted to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, which had come back with two ques­tions con­cern­ing the pro­tec­tion of per­sonal data and on re­stric­tions on free move­ment of gam­ing equip­ment. Th­ese ques­tions would be an­swered in co­op­er­a­tion with con­sul­tants from the min­istry, he said.

Hi­monas ex­plained that the reg­u­la­tions gov­ern var­i­ous mat­ters, in­clud­ing the in­di­vid­ual func­tions of a su­per­vi­sory au­thor­ity and con­trol of the au­thor­ity by the au­di­tor-gen­eral.

Fi­nance Com­mit­tee Chair­man and DIKO Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Pa­padopou­los ques­tioned if there were ad­e­quate guar­an­tees that the in­vestor to be cho­sen would have the fund­ing to im­ple­ment the mas­sive pro­ject.

“Based on the in­for­ma­tion we have, the three to be se­lected will be in­vited to present ev­i­dence on the el­e­ments of fund­ing,” Hi­monas ex­plained.

Trade Com­mit­tee Chair­man Zacharias Zacharias said deputies would take two weeks to study the reg­u­la­tions and seek clarifications or sub­mit ob­ser­va­tions dur­ing the next meet­ing on the sub­ject. The aim he said, would be for the House to adopt the reg­u­la­tions in Fe­bru­ary.

While the names of the bid­ders have not been of­fi­cially an­nounced, it has been widely re­ported in the lo­cal press that three com­pa­nies were the fron­trun­ners in the race.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported in the me­dia, the three most likely bid­ders are: Hard Rock, an in­ter­na­tional ho­tel op­er­a­tor with casi­nos in Hol­ly­wood, Tampa Florida, Biloxi, Las Ve­gas, North­field’ Sun In­ter­na­tional, a re­sort ho­tel and casino chain with ex­ten­sive in­ter­ests in South Africa; and Bouygues, a French com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in on­line gam­ing.

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