Cyprus bets on Europe's biggest casino to draw visitors

Cyprus casino biggest in Europe

Cyprus has signed a deal for the construction of Europe's biggest casino as part of a 600 million euro resort to be built in the southern coastal town of Limmasol, according to a Cypriot minister.

In an agreement signed Monday, Cyprus backed proposals from a consortium made up of Hong Kong-based Melco International, the U.S.'s Hard Rock and local firm CNS Group to build the casino resort seen drawing some 300,000 visitors per year to the island nation.

The casino will include 136 gambling tables and 1,200 gambling machines, while an adjoining luxury hotel will have a 500-room capacity, a health spa and 1,500-seat concert hall.

According to Cyprus' Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, the resort will create around 4,000 new jobs during construction. He said another 4,000 jobs will be created once the resort is up and running.

"The project, as has been proposed, foresees the creation of Europe's only integrated casino resort," said Lakkotrypis, "The casino resort will among other things include Europe's largest casino."

The consortium also has a licence to set up four additional smaller casinos in other towns in Cyprus.