Towards the end of June, Melco International Development Ltd. opened its doors to a new temporary casino on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The new operation set the company back $15 million and was announced as the first of five casinos Melco intended to open while it continued to work on its City of Dreams Mediterranean Resort (CDM). While CDM continues to move forward, Melco is staying true to its word and is gearing up to open its second satellite casino.
Melco’s second satellite operation will be located in the terminal of the Larnaka International Airport. It is the product of a consortium, the Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus Ltd. (ICR Cyprus), which is being led by Melco. The consortium signed a two-year lease with the airport’s operator, Hermes Airports Ltd., for the casino which will ultimately have “two specific locations in the terminal building of Larnaka airport in order to create a ‘satellite casino’ in the city of Larnaka.”
In a press release circulated by the airport and Melco, the two said, “The first location to be allocated is situated in the departures area, accessible only to departing passengers, whilst the second one is situated in the arrivals area, accessible to the general public. The first location is expected to be ready and operational in the next three months whilst the second one is expected to be ready by the end of the year.” The first casino is expected to offer around 50 gaming machines.
Melco controls 75% of ICR Cyprus. The remainder is held by a conglomerate based on the island called Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd. ICR Cyprus was issued a 30-year casino license by the island’s government in June 2017 that also provides for the building of three other satellites in Nicosia, Paphos and Famagusta.
If everything goes according to plan, CDM, which is being built in Limassol, will see its construction completed in 2021. At that time, the temporary Limassol casino will close its doors. Groundbreaking on CDM began on June 8 and the project will cost around $637 million. CDM will be Melco’s first fully established casino outside of Asia.