Paphos businessmen yesterday expressed satisfaction that the government will allow the super casino resort license holder in Cyprus to have smaller branches in other towns.
Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas participated in yesterday’s meeting with President Anastasiades and the Paphos Coordinating Parties and Organisations Committee (Seko).
“We are satisfied with our meeting with the President and the way he is handing the issue of creating a casino,” said Savvas Vergas.
“It seems that very soon, the consultant who will set the terms of the procedure for finding an investor will be appointed shortly,” he added.
The Paphos businessmen met President Anastasiades to promote their town as the ideal location for operating a casino in Cyprus also expressed satisfaction over the fact that it will be up to the investor who decides the location.
The investor will be allowed on the basis of the terms of the license to operate two branches of the integrated casino resort in two other regions that will be close to the main one, Vergas told reporters.
“That is to say that the investor will have the right to create small casinos that can start operations before the major casino,” he added.
The mayor explained that for instance if the super casino is in Paphos, two branches will operate in Limassol and Larnaca so that visitors of other regions can be serviced.
George Leptos, president of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the President had shown full understanding in the views tabled be Seko at the meeting.
“We exchanged views on the issue of the casino and it is obvious that there is the intension by the government to include in the license terms for the creation of two smaller casinos in different areas than the one of the major casino,” Leptos said.
In his view, the operation of the two smaller casinos parallel to the operation of the one integrated casino resort will prevent any negative consequences on other regions since tourists visiting them will also be serviced.
“The location for the construction of the one integrated casino resort and the two smaller branches is up to the investor and it should not be in the same region, “Leptos said.
Commerce Minister George Lakkotrypis last week said that major casino managers in Las Vegas have expressed an interest in Cyprus on the condition that the government goes ahead with one integrated casino resort that would be viable.
So far, 11 foreign experts with know-how in casino operations have expressed an interest to act as consultants to the government for the licensing of the one integrated casino resort.
A consultant will be selected in the next few weeks and will advise the government on the legal and regulatory framework that will eventually go before Parliament.
The government aim is to issue a license for one integrated casino resort in 12 months.