The Melco-backed casino in Ayia Napa, Cyprus only opened its doors last month, the third of the company’s satellite casinos to launch in the Mediterranean island nation. There apparently seems to be at least one person opposed to the launch – possibly a jilted employment-seeker or failed gambler – and this individual sought revenge by taking a coward’s approach. An unknown individual called in a bomb threat this past weekend.
Police descended on the casino at around 12:45 AM Sunday morning after receiving a call about a bomb. They evacuated the venue and conducted a thorough search, only to come up empty-handed. No bomb, no incendiary device, no suspects. Patrons were then allowed to resume their regularly scheduled activities.
Whether the perpetrator was hoping to make a statement, was just bored (or drunk) or expected to challenge the venue’s ability to operate, no real impact will be seen. Melco’s operations on the island have already received over one million patrons across four casinos – a temporary casino in Limassol and three satellites scattered across the country – and there are no signs of activity slowing down. The venues are helping provide an improved economy to Cyprus and gambling will be a permanent fixture of the landscape.
The temporary casino in Limassol is a prelude to the City of Dreams Mediterranean, which should be open sometime in 2020. An initial deadline of mid-year has been pushed back to the end of the year, as Melco and its partners continue to shape the venue into the hottest gambling house in the entire region.
The bomb scare could have also been initiated by someone who tried to mimic a casino theft from earlier this year. In February, the Silver Reef Casino in Washington State received a call about a bomb that forced the venue to be completed evacuated. In that case, the call had been made by an off-duty employee who then proceeded to take off with an unspecified amount of cash. He didn’t get far, though, and was subsequently caught, and the money recovered. Given that Cyprus is an island, the odds of a crook making a clean getaway are slimmer than the Cincinnati Bengals making it to the Super Bowl.