Larnaca airport in frame for satellite casino
Melco are in final negotiations to seal a deal which will see them operate a satellite casino at Larnaca Airport in early 2019.
According to Financial Mirror sources, the airport is the preferred location for Melco which has the licence to operate casinos in the Republic of Cyprus.
More negotiations are needed before pen can be put to paper but it seems to be the most likely venue as Melco has ruled out the option of having a casino on Larnaca’s Phinikoudes beachfront.
Like all the satellites – branded ‘Cyprus Casinos’ – the Larnaca venue – earmarked to be up and running next year - will be equipped with 50 electronic gaming machines but have no tables.
But the plans are to make it accessible to all those arriving at and departing from the airport.
The Nicosia casino will be the only satellite casino to have gaming tables along with the 50 slots.
It will be built in the area opposite Hilton Park in Engomi where the Sea House café-restaurant use to be.
It is scheduled to open in October, but this could be subject to change depending on how quick the business acquires all the relevant planning permits.
Also due to open around the same time is the casino being prepared on Ledas Street in Kato Paphos – again this will have 50 slots but no tables.
The casino on Ayia Napa’s Archbishop Makarios Avenue – near the Faros hotel – is expected to open in late 2019.
Satellite casinos are not intended to be fully fledged casinos, they will mainly serve as legal gaming venues to deter illegal gaming and people crossing over to the north to gamble. These smaller casinos aim to hire a total of 593 employees; 70 for Nicosia and a further 60 for the three satellites in Paphos, Ayia Napa and Larnaca.
A temporary casino will open in Zakaki, Limassol on June 28, becoming the first to operate in the Republic.
The casino at the old Orphanides supermarket site will operate while Europe’s largest integrated casino resort -the City of Dreams Mediterranean - is being built.
It is the first casino to open in accordance with the new Cyprus Legislation and Regulations.
The Zakaki casino on 271 Franklin Roosevelt Avenue, will operate until on a temporary basis until 2021.
It has a floor area of 4,600m2, gaming area 1,300m2, 593 employees (75% Cypriot), 33 tables, 242 slot machines and can accommodate 1,000 guests. It will be open on a 24-hour basis, with an expected influx of 25,000 customers a month, there is no membership requirement, but entrance is restricted to those aged over 21. Along with a VIP gaming area it has a restaurant and two bars.
When it shuts down in three years’ time, all personnel will automatically be transferred to the Integrated Casino Resort.
Melco has invested up to EUR 15 mln in building the Zakaki casino to guarantee it kicks off with a bang.
Macau’s Melco International and its Cypriot partner CNS group are behind the EUR 550 mln first casino resort.
The complex will have 500 hotel rooms with a gaming area of 7,500 square metres and other facilities like an expo centre spanning more than 9,600 square metres.
It will accommodate 136 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines and 11 restaurants and employ 2,400 staff.