The chance of a new land-based casino in Cyprus is edging closer to reality, as key government officials visit Las Vegas to discuss the potential move with casino bosses. Currently, Cypriot gambling laws are inconsistent, with the Turkish north having casinos, and the Greek south lacking them.
However, there have been plans to change that, with a plan to award just a single resort casino license on the island slated by the mayors of the five main districts. With online casinos in Cyprus banned under the Betting Act of 2012, Greek Cypriot gamblers will hope that the Las Vegas talks come to fruition.
Indeed, with the undersecretary to the President, Constantinos Petrides – as well as Cyprus Tourism Organization chairman Alecos Oroundiotis – meeting in Las Vegas, the potential that a positive gambling news story will come out of Cyprus in the near future is surely high.
The idea of a casino on the island is seen as important in the steps towards economic recovery, with the government struggling to attain new finance considering the depth of the national recession. No surprise, therefore, that the two government tourists also met with Nevada lawmakers to discuss how to implement gambling regulation in the best possible way.
This news is certain to lead to increased scrutiny on the casino plans, and the final location for the resort is yet to be decided. With local politicians all vying for the right to host the casino – the resort will surely bring a big boost to tourism – it’s unlikely that anything more will happen until mid-2014 at the earliest.
Whatever happens, it seems that Cyprus will be joining the long list of countries with licensed casinos some time in the relatively near future. Just how relatively near is all that remains to be seen.