Home > News > World
Friday August 1, 2014 MYT 5:50:02 PM
Friday August 1, 2014 MYT 5:51:31 PM
NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus will grant its first licence for a casino resort within about a year, the government said on Friday, to be built in the south of the island where gambling has been strictly prohibited.
Scores of Greek Cypriots regularly cross into northern Cyprus, a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state recognised only by Ankara and where there are several casinos.
The ruling Conservatives see allowing gambling as vital for the tourism industry, creating jobs and attracting big spenders, particularly after last year's international financial bailout.
Cyprus's previous communist government, in power until early 2013, had flatly refused to entertain the idea despite reported interest from foreign operators. Some Cypriots still see gambling as socially and morally undesirable.
The island draws about 2 million tourists a year, with the sector representing about 10 percent of overall output.
Authorities said they would invite expressions of interest in a two-stage selection process once approval of relevant legislation is approved by parliament.
"This will be one of the most important infrastructure projects in Cyprus in coming years," Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said.
The licence would be valid for 30 years, and the successful bidder would get an exclusivity agreement for 15 years. The state would charge a 15 percent tax on gross income from gambling, Christodoulides said in a statement.
(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity
Final results of Lesotho polls reveal no clear winner
At least 32 killed in east Ukraine mine blast
Russian security service chief says several suspects in Nemtsov case - agencies
Malaysians abroad share how they celebrate our local festivals
8 Incredible food and wine adventures you can do in Australia!
Support for new modern research hospital
EU bets on 5G to catch up in mobile technology race
McCullum fit to play Afghanistan - coach
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)