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New casino in South will hit TRNC tourism

30 June 2017

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The biggest casino in Europe, an investment which will cost 600 million euro, is to open in South Cyprus.

According to Turkish daily Milliyet’s TRNC correspondent, Sefa Karahasan, the opening of the casino in the south is a cause of worries in North Cyprus, since it is expected to have a negative affect on the TRNC’s tourism.

Chairman of the Turkish Cypriots travel agencies’ union, Orhan Tolun, told ‘Milliyet’ that “The operating of the casino in the south will attract our customers to the south. The gamblers coming from the Arab world, that is Lebanese and Israeli will prefer to go to the south”.

Also, according to the paper, the TRNC’s casino owners’ union have decided to meet in order to discuss the issue and it has announced that it will issue a statement after the meeting. The union is concerned also that Greek Cypriot gamblers will stop going to the casinos in the TRNC, the report says.

Invoking reliable sources, the paper writes that the Greek Cypriot church was persuaded to “give permission for the opening of the casino for economic reasons”.

The paper writes that 26 casinos in total operate in the TRNC and employs at least six thousand workers.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Diyalog’ reports that evaluating the tender for the opening of the casino in the south, the honorary chairman of the Turkish Cypriot hotelier’s union Aziz Kent, has claimed that the main aim of the Greek Cypriot administration with its initiative to open a casino, is to lead the TRNC into bankruptcy.

Kent also asserted that the TRNC’s economy will be affected by the agreement signed for the opening of a casino by the Greek Cypriots and added the following: “We have a lot of revenues in our casinos from the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots’ aim is to drive us into a corner. […] If a casino operates in South Cyprus, everybody will flock there. Everybody goes there for shopping, will they not go there for the casino?”, Kent wondered.

Kent further proposed that a regulation to be implemented in TRNC so that the Turkish Cypriots are able to use the casinos as well.

Milliyet, Diyalog

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