Cyprus to Issue Casino Licenses by 2015

Published May 30, 2014 by OCR Editor

Commerce Minister of Cyprus seeks to fast-track law that will allow the licensing of casinos by April 2015.

Commerce Minister of Cyprus George Lakkotrypis stated recently that Cyprus will be able to issue licenses to land-based casinos no later than April 2015.

While the northern side of Cyprus, under Turkish control, has been issuing casino licenses for years, the southern side of Cyprus, under Greek control, has been forbidden to by law. This was mostly due to opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church as well as fearful notions of southern Cypriots about the social dangers of gambling. 

Fast-Track to Licensing

Now, the Commerce Minister hopes that a bill will be introduced to the legislature this month, and then will be fast-tracked for approval so that licensing can begin in April 2015. The the opposition party, Akel, opposes the bill, the Commerce Minister does not see any real threat to making it happen. 

The Commerce Minister has not yet stated when the first casinos will be built, though it is hoped that the building of a large casino resort will help lift Cyprus out of its financial struggles. As of now, Cyprus must still pay back a 10 billion euro loan that it took out in March 2013. 

There is also a high rate of unemployment in Cyprus, and a new casino complex could help with the creation of many jobs, as well as provide a highly-needed boost in tourism. A plan was already approved in 2013 for the building of a super-casino resort; now the government just needs to approve casino licensing before anything can happen. 

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