Casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. is withdrawing its tender for the lone casino license in Cyprus.
Last week, reports surfaced that the three-way race to snag the gambling license has narrowed down to just one applicant after two of the bidders—Cambodia’s NagaCorp and the Philippines’ Bloomberry Resorts—reportedly failed to secure the necessary land deals.
Now, the Philippine Stock Exchange-listed casino operator confirmed that it has dropped out of the bidding process. Bloomberry director of investor relations Leo Venezuela told GGRAsia in an email that they “are no longer pursuing our bid to acquire a gaming license in Cyprus.”
Venezuela did not mention the reasons behind Bloomberry’s decision to pull out of the bidding, according to the news outlet.
Bloomberry was one of the three bidders picked by the Cyprus government in March for the country’s first casino resort, which will be built in the ethnic Greek portion of the Mediterranean island. However, an anonymous official in the Ministry of Commerce was quoted by Cyprus media saying the Bloomberry and NagaCorp bids have failed to secure land deals with property owners.
Bloomberry was reportedly eyeing the Paphos area, while NagaCorp was leaning towards a Lamarca property, but the two bidders have been having difficulties reaching accords with the property owners, who allegedly have placed exorbitant prices on their preferred sites.
In June, the tandem of the U.S.-based Hard Rock International and Lawrence Ho’s Melco International Development protested the government’s decision to grant NagaCorp and Bloomberry a three-month extension on submitting their final bids.
The three-month extension granted to the bidders this summer expires on Oct. 5 and local media suggested the government wasn’t keen on pushing that revised deadline back any further. The government has previously stated its intention to award the lone casino license before the end of the year.
The winning bidder will secure a 30-year casino license, with 15 years of exclusivity. However, the government wants each bidder to include at least 500 luxury hotel rooms, 1,000 gaming machines and 100 gaming tables in their final proposal.