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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Casino operator Melco Crown launches Cyprus resort to target new market


LIMASSOL, Cyprus (Reuters) – Asian casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment has launched an entertainment and gaming center in Cyprus, marking its first foray into Europe as it seeks to tap into new markets.

With a total investment of more than EUR 600 million (US$ 659.46 million), the City of Dreams Mediterranean is one of the largest developments of its kind in Cyprus. The operator said it hopes to attract an additional 300,000 tourists to Cyprus each year.

Macau-based Melco Crown has been seeking to diversify geographically. In addition to its Macau property, it also owns a so-called integrated resort in Manila, Philippines.

Lawrence Ho, chairman and chief executive of Melco Crown, said: “City of Dreams in the Mediterranean … enables Cyprus to tap into new markets in the region and beyond.”

Ho told Reuters that Cyprus’ geographical location at the crossroads of three continents, with its proximity to Israel, North Africa and the rest of Europe, was an advantage, as was its “climate and beautiful beaches”.

Located on the outskirts of the southern city of Limassol, the resort is a sprawling complex comprising a luxury hotel, grounds spaces, eight restaurants, a large pool complex, spa and retail outlets.

Center stage is its gaming area, which operators say is the largest casino in Europe, slightly larger than a FIFA World Cup football stadium.

Ho said Melco is now focusing on fully developing the Cyprus project before considering whether to expand to other parts of Europe.

Ho said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been severe, but the industry is bouncing back.

“We’re seeing tourists coming back to Macau. Our business in Manila is recovering very well … but even in Macau, things are recovering, I think it’s back to around 90% of pre-COVID levels,” he said.

(1 USD = 0.9098 EUR)

Reporting by Michelle Cambas; Editing by Sharon Singleton

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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