Cyprus Casino Sector Flourishes, Contributing Millions to State Revenues

Cyprus Casino
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The chairman of Cyprus’s gaming authority, Christos Mavrellis, revealed the substantial financial contributions made by the island’s casino sector since its inception. Highlighting the financial windfalls, Mavrellis shared that the casino has generated millions in revenue, marking a lucrative chapter for Cyprus’s gaming industry.

Since opening its doors, the casino has been a focal point of economic activity, with Mavrellis reporting that approximately €90 million has been collected by the authority, based on the detailed briefing about the authority’s budget. This financial boon comes alongside the announcement of the authority’s plans to bolster its workforce with the hiring of its first permanent employees, filling 35 approved positions to further streamline operations.

The casino’s financial performance has been noteworthy, with total revenues reaching the €421 million mark. This has translated into significant contributions to the state, with €63 million in taxes and €25 million collected from annual license fees, cumulatively enriching the state’s coffers by around €90 million. Despite these impressive figures, Mavrellis commented on the casino’s profitability, noting challenges due to substantial investments, depreciation, and loans. Nevertheless, the initial months following the opening of the resort showed promising activity.

External factors such as the conflict in Israel momentarily impacted the casino’s profitability, yet recent trends indicate a resurgence of Israeli visitors. Mavrellis also addressed the positive societal impact of the casino’s operation, particularly highlighting the decline in illegal gambling activities as a direct result of the legal casino’s presence. He pointed out that prior to the casino’s establishment, illegal gambling venues were rampant, especially in regions like Paphos and within the British Bases.

In efforts to curb cross-border gambling, there has been a proposal to expand the Nicosia regional casino and introduce table games. Mavrellis emphasized the authority’s commitment to responsible gambling, mentioning collaboration with the Addiction Authority and KENTHEA to provide support and assistance for those affected by gambling issues.

Looking ahead, Mavrellis outlined ambitious plans for the recruitment of permanent staff, aiming to fortify the authority’s capabilities. The projected revenue for 2024 is set to witness a staggering 111.2 per cent increase, amounting to €28 million, primarily driven by renegotiated contracts with key stakeholders like Opap Cyprus.

Projected revenues for the forthcoming years show a promising trajectory, with estimates climbing to €53.1 million for 2024, and further increases anticipated for 2025 and 2026. This upward financial trend is matched by an increase in operational expenditures, attributed to the authority’s expanding activities and responsibilities.

The gaming authority’s proactive stance on regulation and oversight is reflected in the extensive on-site inspections conducted throughout 2023, alongside handling numerous public complaints and tackling illegal gambling activities. With a reported 15 per cent increase in turnover for 2023 and similar growth expected for 2024, Cyprus’s casino sector is on a robust path of growth and contribution to the national economy.

In conclusion, the thriving casino sector in Cyprus stands as a testament to the strategic oversight and regulatory frameworks put in place by the gaming authority. With significant financial contributions to the state and a positive impact on curbing illegal gambling, the future of Cyprus’s gaming industry looks promising, underpinned by responsible gambling practices and a commitment to economic growth.