Hundreds visit the Nicosia satellite casino every day, C2 Nicosia President says

The average number of visitors to the satellite casino of Nicosia is just over 600 per day, Graig Ballantyne Property President of City of Dreams Mediterranean and Cyprus Casinos, said on Tuesday.

It’s actually meeting our expectation already Ballantyne told reporters during a press conference held on the occasion of the opening of the temporary casino in Nicosia (C2 Nicosia). He added that the number of visitors could be a little bit higher on weekends.

C2 Nicosia is located in Engomi, with a total area of 970 m2 and features five live tables and 50 slot machines. It is also home to another Columbia Bistro restaurant and bar.

It is open Monday to Friday from 3pm until 6am and 24-hours on weekends, public holidays and holiday seasons. Ballantyne explained that the casino is not open 24/7, following an agreement with the Government who wanted to make sure that students at the nearby universities would not spend their time there. He added that visitors must be 21 years of age and above to enter.

Around 100 people have been employed at the Nicosia casino, bringing the total number of Melco staff in Cyprus to over 700, the vast majority being Cypriot citizens, he said.

According to Ballantyne, Melco, the company that operates also the temporary casino of Limassol, has paid to the government six million euro in taxes so far.

He also stressed that Melco follows specific policies to ensure responsible gaming. The last thing we want to do is to have addicts in our casino and the last thing we want is to have behavioural issues. Our policies on responsible gaming are not only from Macau but they are also European and to that extent we have self – exclusion, exclusion which means that we would exclude a client, we also have a thing called time out where we see a possible change at someone’s behaviour and we offer them the opportunity to do a time out for a month, 2,3,4 months or even longer he noted.

We have to protect the fabric of society from that perspective, although casinos are always on the spotlight, whereas online or lotteries or illegal casinos or the casinos in the occupied territory are not regulated and controlled. We regulate ourselves so our self – governance is really key to our success as well he added.

Craig Ballantyne said that so far there have been many checks by the National Betting Authority and that they are in close cooperation with them on a weekly basis, sometimes daily, to make sure that they operate in a transparent way and there are no issues with responsible gaming and with AML (anti � money laundering) and KYC (Know Your Client).

Meanwhile he said that the company hopes to open the satellite casino at Larnaca International Airport � Glafcos Clerides on Friday, while they are in search for a site for the casino of Paphos. The casino in Ayia Napa would open probably just after Easter, he added.

Ballantyne said that the construction of the Integrated Casino Resort in Limassol would start in February and be completed in 2021 and it is expected to exceed the original cost of 550 mn euro.

Source: Cyprus News Agency