Melco closes two casinos in Cyprus as curfew begins

By Ucatchers

Cyprus Casinos, the Cypriot subsidiary of casino and hotel giant Melco Resorts & Entertainment, has temporarily closed two of its casinos in Cyprus as the small Mediterranean nation grapples with a second wave of coronavirus infections.

In a message on its official website published on Thursday, November 12, Cyprus Casinos said that its satellite casino in Paphos and its temporary casino in Limassol would close and remain closed until November 30.

Cyprus imposed a new wave of comprehensive lockdown measures on the Limassol and Paphos districts as part of its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The two districts went into almost complete shutdown starting Thursday night. The measures implemented include a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am and a ban on entering and leaving the two districts.

The C2 Limassol casino closed its doors at 5pm local time on Thursday, while C2 Paphos closed at 3pm local time. Other non-essential companies in the two districts were also ordered to temporarily suspend their operations.

The five casinos in Cyprus were ordered to close in mid-March when the coronavirus first hit the small island nation. The facilities were able to resume operations on June 13 under strict health security protocols.

Two other casinos remain operational

Cyprus Casinos said their properties in the capital, Nicosia and Ayia Napa, will remain operational at this time. Its Nicosia casino will welcome visitors from 3 pm to 10:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm on weekends and holidays. The Ayia Napa facility will be open every day from 06:30 am to 10:30 pm

Cyprus Casinos also operates a satellite casino in Larnaca, but that facility did not resume operations when its sister properties did. Company officials said in June that the casino would be relocated to a new site and that its reopening date is unknown. The satellite casino was previously located at Larnaca International Airport.

A consortium consisting of Melco, Hard Rock International and a local partner won the right to operate the first land-based casinos in the Republic of Cyprus in 2016. Hard Rock dropped the plan the next year.

Melco, through its subsidiary Cyprus Casinos, launched its first Cypriot casino in Limassol in June 2018. The facility will temporarily operate until the end of 2021, when Melco’s City of Dreams Mediterranean integrated complex is scheduled to open doors not far from the temporary casino site. The company has committed to invest 550 million euros in the mega-project.

As part of its agreement with the Government of Cyprus, Melco was also allowed to open four satellite casinos in four busy cities across the country including Larnaca, Ayia Napa, Nicosia and Paphos.

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