The Greek-controlled southern half of Cyprus will finally get to see a land-based casino in the flesh.
Commerce Minister George Lakkotrypis issued a statement saying a casino bill will be submitted later this month and, with little opposition expected, a fast-track license is expected to be processed in as little as eight months. That would pave the way for the first land-based casino license to be issued sometime in March or April next year.
While the Turkish-controlled northern side of the country has had casino for years, opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church over the perceived social dangers kept casinos out of the south side. But economic instability and rising unemployment has forced lawmakers’ hands.
Once legislation passes, the cabinet plans to approve one “super-casino resort” with two smaller branches in other districts. The hope is that this super casino will attract a trove of deep-pocketed tourists to drop their money in a country that has become more and more dependent on boosting its tourism industry to help rescue its bludgeoned economy.