A total of eight bids were submitted on Friday for a licence to build and operate a large casino resort in south Cyprus, according to a statement from the Commerce, Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry, that added that three of the bidders will be shortlisted for the next phase of the project.
The interested companies will be notified of the procedure results 45 days from the submission date. This is the beginning of a process for a final bidder to secure the licence within 2016 and then build the casino resort in approximately two years’ time.
The next step will call for the bidders to submit a detailed proposal for the project.
While the names of the bidders were not officially announced, it was widely reported in the local press that three companies were the frontrunners in the race.
As it was previously reported in the media, the three most likely bidders are: Hard Rock, an international hotel operator with casinos in Hollywood, Tampa Florida, Biloxi, Las Vegas, Northfield’ Sun International, a resort hotel and casino chain with extensive interests in South Africa; and Bouygues, a French company specialising in online gaming.
Malaysian giant Genting Group was the name at the top of the list but withdrew its interest.
The Ministry clarified that the names of the companies will not be made public. The statement said that the bids will be evaluated based on financial capability, experience in developing casino resorts, understanding of the Cyprus market, and their vision for the casino resort.