Cyprus Molds Regulation, Just Ahead of Full Scale DevelopmentPublished January 15, 2018 by Lee R
Equitable treatment of all licensees is the final barrier to be smoothed ahead of IR construction.
The island nation of Cyprus has submitted an adapted regulation model to the EC, as plans for the first Cyprus IR take shape.
Barriers in Last Draft
The first version of the proposal, Betting Law 2017, was submitted to the Commission last June. Out of concern that the policy at the time favoured Greek operator OPAP, the EU suggested that the Cypriot government adapt its gambling policy to a more equitable model.
According to the Cyprus National Betting Authority NBA, the new framework requires licensed bookmakers to pay a 10% tax on net revenue generated from services. A further 1% levy on net revenue will be contributed to responsible gambling initiatives, with an additional 2% levy to support sporting organisations within Cypress under review.
Local IR Development
Meanwhile, on the private front, operators of Cyprus’ very first casino resort presented their final plans to the Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, targeting 2021 for the opening.
Construction of the largest integrated casino resort in Europe will take place amongst the citrus orchards in the Zakaki flatland west of Limassol overlooking the Mediterranean.
Integrated Resorts Cyprus is expected to attract 300,000 tourists per year, according to Melco International Development LTD. Chairman Lawrence Ho, who is also the driving force behind the project.
As far as project stake, Melco holds a 70.74 share, with local Group GNS Group holding 29.26 percent of the consortium shares.
Economic impact studies estimate the impact to Cyprus' economy after the second year of the casino's operation at 700 million euros per year, or approximately four percent of the country's annual GDP.
An additional 2,100 jobs will be created in Cyprus, with peripheral operations pushing that total to 11,000.
Grounds and Amenities
The casino resort will be equipped with a 500-room luxury hotel, 11 restaurants and cafeterias, a retail area, wellness and sports centres, and exhibition facilities across an area of 9,600 square meters.
The deal also calls for four satellite casinos, one for each of the four cities of Cyprus.
Prominent License Holder
Bet365 is among the eight companies currently holding full class B licenses in Cyprus.
As the rate of development accelerates in Cyprus, effective regulation cannot come any sooner.