As reports for 2016 emerge regarding the slowing economy in China, coupled with the recent attempts to combat corruption in Asian gambling companies, they are now seeking new jurisdictions to incorporate.
As a result of these developments, three major casinos from Asia have been shortlisted to build and run the first fully legitimate casino resort on the Greek controlled southern side of the island in Cyprus, where up until recently, gambling was against the law.
Last year, Cyprus established a legal casino project, inviting bids for a single gaming license. According to reports, a company from the Philippines, NagaCorp a Hong Kong based company, and Melco-Hard Rock, a resort in Cyprus have reached preliminary stages. There is still a further process another process to go through, however if plans develop the license could be issued as early as later this year.
NagaCorp and Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment were not immediately available for comment. The winner will operate an integrated casino resort for 30 years with exclusivity assured for half that period. The casino will have 100-200 gaming tables and 1,000-2,000 machines.
Cyprus already has a number of significant investments in the tourism industry, such as luxury marinas, golf courses and hotel resorts, however is looking for ways to further its economy in this area. The Cyprus Ministry of Commerce & Tourism stated that last year, the casino venture was intended to expand existing markets on the island, increasing inbound tourist visits and extend the existing tourism season in Cyprus.
While Chinese gambling companies try not to let the anti-corruption campaign affect profit considerably, shares in the Asian giant Bloomberry have already seen drops. The company has expanded to South Korea, and applied for a betting license in Argentina, in an attempt to mitigate losses.