Casinos legalised in the Republic of Cyprus

The House Plenum approved the legislation with 28 votes in favour, one against and 16 abstentions.

Cyprus.- Yesterday (Thursday) the House Plenum has approved the regulations for the Republic of Cyprus’ first casino with 28 votes in favour, one against and 16 abstentions. The government secured the votes of Disy, Diko and Edek, whilst Akel abstained.

Under the bids requirements, the minimum requirements are 100 tables and 1,000 machines, the licensed bidder could start operating immediately and for a 30 year-period.

However, after being excluded from the bid, the Goldenlady Consortium is challenging the procedures followed in the licensing tender process, called on Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides to intervene andsent a letter to President Nicos Anastasiades, Cabinet, House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou and party leaders urging them to request the full records of the bids for reconsideration.

According to leaked reports, Goldenlady’s bid was for a €1.15 billion (US$1.29b) investment, whilst one of the short-listed bids proposed an investment of €450 million (US$ 503m) and the other two offer €250 million (US$ 268m.) Goldenlady claims that, the fact that the names were leaked to the press before they were taken to the Cabinet for approval, “is enough to question the entire process and points to the lack of credibility of the state in terms of how it responds to requests for foreign investments.”

The Goldenlady concluded: “It is inconceivable to exclude the consortium with the largest proposed investment.”