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Europe's 'largest casino complex' to open in Cyprus by 2021

AFP  |  Nicosia 

A casino complex billed as the largest of its kind in is scheduled to begin operations in by 2021, giving a major boost to the economy, officials said today.

Macau's and its Cypriot partner Phassouri Ltd presented their plans in for the first casino resort in the internationally recognised south of the holiday island.

Estimated to cost 600 million euros, the complex would be the largest integrated casino in Europe, with 500 hotel rooms and other facilities spanning more than 6,000 square metres (64,580 square feet).

It will accommodate 136 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines and 11 restaurants.

The project "is expected to have a significant impact on the country's GDP," said at the presentation.

The casino's "broader contribution to the economy from the second year of operation is estimated to be around 700 million euros or four percent of GDP," he added.

Melco's said the casino -- to be named City of Dreams -- is a priority for the company as it is the first time the brand is operating outside of

Ho said the integrated casino will put Cyprus on the world tourist map by attracting visitors from across the globe.

The consortium -- in which Melco has a 70.74-percent majority share -- has a 30-year licence to build an integrated casino resort in the southern coastal town of Limassol, and set up four in other locations across the island.

These satellites should be operating by the end of June this year.

There have long been casinos in the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognised by

But, until now, opposition from the influential Greek Orthodox Church and misgivings among many Greek Cypriots about the social dangers of gambling had kept them out of the south.

A casino complex is a key part of the government's plans to stimulate the island's recovering economy, with the creation of 4,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent staff.

And a super casino is expected to add another 300,000 tourists annually, bolstering the already three million-plus arrivals.

member Cyprus plunged into a financial crisis in 2013, leaving a number of its top banks insolvent and forcing it to negotiate painful bailouts with international creditors.

It has since recovered, after the imposition of harsh austerity measures in exchange for a loan of 10 billion euros (then $13 billion) from the and the EU.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 20:05 IST