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)
Hungary hopes to decide Croatian border closure in a week
FIFA watchdog suspends Blatter, Platini for 90 days
Syria extends major offensive to retake territory in west
ICC prosecutor plans probe into 2008 Georgia-Russia war
EU talks tough on deportations amid flood of Syrian refugees
U.S. mulls sailing near disputed South China Sea islands-Pentagon official
Ecclestone rejects Mercedes' TV coverage criticism
Resort in Lumut makes for a great weekend getaway
Thai military's plan for 'Great Firewall' risks Internet competition
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)