City of Dreams Mediterranean Construction Beginning This Month, $617M IR Expands Melco Portfolio
Posted on: April 5, 2019, 09:00h.
Last updated on: April 5, 2019, 08:18h.
City of Dreams Mediterranean is breaking ground this month on the EUR $550 million ($617 million) integrated casino resort that will feature 100 tables and around 1,000 slot machines.
Melco Resorts – the casino operator that has properties in Macau and the Philippines – is developing the Cyprus complex that will be situated on more than 91 acres. The company says construction will begin in the coming days, and the venue is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
Melco CEO Lawrence Ho revealed this week that the company awarded the construction contract to Greek conglomerate Avax – Terna JV. The casino billionaire said he’s confident that the firm “will deliver the project to the highest construction standards and will enable us to bring an extraordinary integrated casino resort to Cyprus.”
Along with the 80,000-square-foot casino floor, City of Dreams Mediterranean will feature a 16-story hotel tower with 500 five-star guestrooms, convention space, numerous restaurants, and four large outdoor pools.
Melco opened a temporary casino in Cyprus last year featuring 242 slots and 33 tables.
Melco Resorts predicts that the casino – which will become the largest in all of Europe once completed – will flush the Cyprus economy with $785 million in annual contributions, which would account for around four percent of the country’s annual growth domestic product.
It was less than five years ago that the Mediterranean island country fell into economic crisis. Cyprus was rescued by a $13 billion bailout from the European Commission, Eurogroup, European Central Bank, and International Money Fund.
City of Dreams will employ 2,400 workers, and create 4,000 construction jobs during the two-year build. The casino will pay a 15 percent tax on its gross gaming revenue (GGR), which the government expects to amount to $100 million annually.
Lawrence Ho, one of Macau founding father Stanley Ho’s 17 children, is worth around $2.5 billion according to Forbes. His fortune increased this week after Melco Resorts awarded him 409,076 shares valued at $9.9 million.
In a statement, Melco explained, “In determining the number of Restricted Shares granted to Mr. Ho, the board of directors of Melco Resorts has considered the importance and the contribution of Mr. Ho’s work to the Melco Resorts Group, including the scope and responsibilities of his position as both Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.”
The purpose of the aforesaid grant is to recognize Mr. Ho’s contribution to the success and development of Melco Resorts … and to incentivize and motivate him to continue to strive for the future development of Melco Resorts Group and its business,” the company concluded.
Melco Resorts is one of the leading contenders for licensure in Japan’s forthcoming commercial gaming industry. Ho has said Melco would not “constrain our dreams with price tags” regarding the company’s potential investment in an integrated casino resort in the Asian nation.
Ho believes formal bidding will begin later this year.
“For Melco, partnerships are part of our DNA, and are fundamental to every single project we’ve ever done,” the CEO explained. “For Japan, it’s even more important to have great partners who can educate us on how to be culturally harmonious and have the best possible bid.”