15 March 2014 09:21

Kritou Terra Community leader Dervis Charalambous has requested from the government to provide the local authority with a permit to construct a new casino in the area.   
The community used to have a casino which closed in 1890 and was the first casino to operate on the island.
Charalambous said that reopening a casino in the Paphos area will be an asset for the community.
"It will breathe new life into the countryside and will contribute towards keeping residents of the mountainous villages of Paphos from moving to the city centre," said Charalambous.
The reopening of the casino in Kritou Terra is also supported by other Paphos communities and authorities.
Charalambous said a support statement was signed as the issue "is a joint effort by political parties, the three Paphos Mayors (Polis Chrysochous, Peyia, Yeroskipou) and also community leaders in Paphos".
Charalambous also sent a letter urging Paphos Municipality to support the effort.
The community council said that they found a location of 1800 hectares for the construction of the casino.
It is also planning to move on to the reconstruction of the square that hosts the community's annual festival and paving the main road network in the community.
The first casino to operate in Cyprus is still located in Kritou Terra and its maintenance is undertaken by the Department of Antiquities.     
The casino is housed in an 1860 building located east of the community's school. It began operating in 1878 during the Ottoman rule.
It was created and managed by Savvas Markides.
"The visitors of the casino were mostly Turks, as well as the elite of the Middle East. The casino was also visited by king of Egypt, Namouk," said Charalambous.
The murals adorning the walls of the old casino are inspired by history and tradition and feature heroes of the Greek War of Independence such as Athanasios Diakos.   
The casino stopped operating in 1890 following a quarrel that took place there between a Turk and a Christian, and as a result the Sultan ordered its closing.


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