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Hard Rock Wins Republic of Cyprus Casino License, Looks to Japan

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The sole casino license on the destination Mediterranean island, the Republic of Cyprus, has been granted to a consortium including Hard Rock International Inc., via Seminole HR Holdings LLC. The tribal enterprise partnered with Melco International Development Ltd, helmed by Asian gaming pioneer Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, and local conglomerate Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd, on its bid for the rights to the 30-year casino license in the Republic of Cyprus, including 15 years of gaming exclusivity, reported ggrasia.com.

Construction work is anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2017, Constantinos Petrides, deputy minister to the country’s president, told the Cyprus Mail.

The Cyprus casino is required to include at least 500 luxury hotel rooms, 1,000 gaming machines, and 100 gaming tables, according to local legislation. The winning bidder can also build a satellite casino and three slot palors in the country.

Hard Rock International has also publicly said it would invest in Japan if casino gaming is legalized there.

“We can either play a lead role or a partnership role. We really hope that we can collaborate with Japanese partners and institutions,” Hamish Dodds told Bloomberg News.

The Japanese parliament might debate casino legislation on Wednesday, November 9, reported ggrasia.com.

Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International, has also announced it would invest up to $9.5 billion in Japan if casino gambling is given the green light.