Earlier this year Cyprus Parliament voted in favor and passed the Law to Regulate the Establishment, Operation, Function, Control and Supervision of a Casino and Related matters of 2015, providing for the operation and regulation of a casino and casino games in the casino.

As part of Cyprus new business incentives and the Government’s strategic objectives addressing foreign investors which in turn translates to approximately 1000 new job openings and the opting in for tourism growth, the Steering Committee was established with the purpose of supervising a public competition for the period between 18/09/15 till 18/12/15 where candidates will be able to submit their expression of interest (“EOI”) in acquiring an exclusive 15 year term license (boosted by a right of renewal on a non-exclusive basis for another 15 years) for operating a worldwide recognized Casino establishment integrated with Hotel facilities to host well over 500 luxury rooms and other theme attractions which will set the Integrated Casino Resort (“ICR”) to compete with EU and worldwide top standards. The world class casino shall include at least 100 gaming tables and 1000 gaming machines and a maximum of 200 gaming tables and 2000 gaming machines. Additional satellite establishments in the remaining districts will be optionally developed at the operator’s discretion where a cap of 2.5% of the total gaming machines (not tables permitted) shall be installed in each establishment.

The selection criteria set out by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism (“MECIT”) which is the responsible assigned Ministry for the project focus on: (i) experience and capability to deliver and operate an ICR and/or other integrated hospitality and entertainment resorts and (ii) understanding of the Cyprus market and vision for the development of an ICR in Cyprus.

The deadline for submitting questions and comments by the candidates who have submitted an EOI is 20/11/2015, while the amount to be paid for collections of the EOI documents is set to €10,000.

The estimated date of notification of EOI procedure results is approximately 45 days within which period MECIT will chose up to 3 preferred candidates to compete at the second phase Request for Proposal (“RFP”) and the candidate with the highest score shall be granted the ICR license by the Cyprus Casino Gaming Commission (“CGC”).

The draft regulations of the Law provide for the owner to choose the site where the ICR shall be developed, however no State land shall be permissible for use. The casino tax which shall be applicable on the gross gaming revenue is set to 15% while in calculating the amount of casino tax free play there will be a cap of 25% which shall be deductible from the overall gross gaming taxable revenue.

While candidates will not be objected to presenting the full scope of their funding approach and their truck record in funding large scale projects at the first phase of the EOI, the Commission will request a full analysis for the candidates’ committed financing plans at the RFP stage.

Regarding the possibility of inviting foreign workers to be fully employed at the ICR, an investor needs to be aware that there are no specific employment and immigration laws with respect to foreign workers occupied in the gambling industry and all workers are subject to Cyprus and EU law without discrimination as to the origin of each worker.

Key aspects of the project:

  • Sports betting, lotteries, horseracing and online gaming are not included as part of the legislation and shall continue to be addressed by existing legislation;
  • The Steering Committee will perform comprehensive due diligence on the operating license applicant and its significant shareholders (10% if a publicly listed company and 5% if a private company, natural person shareholders or other), key management, contractors, suppliers and associated persons, prior to granting the license and/or for approval in transferring the control of the ultimate holding company whether they have an interest in the land or buildings where the casino is located.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages will be permitted on the gaming floor;
  • The minimum age for admission to casino gaming shall be 21. Persons under that age may pass through the gaming floor on a designated path but shall not be allowed to attend gaming positions;
  • The resort may operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week;
  • There will be no entrance fee or membership requirements without the prior written approval of CGC;
  • EU compliant AML procedures are required at all times;
  • Credit for gaming is not forbidden;
  • Junkets and junket operators are permitted but must be licensed and are regulated by the CGC;
  • Complimentaries will be permitted (free or discounted travel, accommodation, food and beverage and entertainment offered to casino guests), but will be defined, restricted and reported as set out in the Regulations;
  • Advertising will be permitted, for the integrated casino resort, both within and outside Cyprus, in accordance with the requirements in the Regulations and other applicable advertising law. Marketing and advertising must be consistent with promoting the integrated casino resort as a whole, and not the gaming activities on a standalone basis;
  • Responsible gaming will be closely monitored. Policies and practices to deal with problem gambling and support responsible gaming by customers shall be required of the operator as defined by the Law and set out in more detail in the Regulations. The operator will be required to have policies and a program of responsible gaming measures approved and monitored by the CGC; and
  • The CGC will monitor and enforce non-criminal enforcement of the gaming license requirements, and will be empowered to investigate the integrated casino resort license holder, hold hearings and impose administrative sanctions for breach of the Act, Regulations and ICR license.

To obtain the EOI documents please state your intention via an e-mail including the following details to [email protected] with the following information:

  • Full name:-
  • Company:-
  • Representing (if applicable):-
  • Email contact:-
  • Telephone contact:-
  • Full postal address:-


*If you wish for our Firm to represent your Company in handling and processing your application for acquiring an EOI, send us an e-mail at [email protected] and our Team shall promptly get in touch with you with details of our package casino services.

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