Casino News

Hard Rock Sells Its Share in the Cyprus Casino Venture to Melco International

Hard Rock International has put a halt to its plans on developing a Cyprus joint venture with its partner Melco International Development. The two tycoons signed a deal to build the largest real-life casino in Europe in the Limassol region of the Republic of Cyprus.

On Monday, the officials of the Republic of Cyprus gave their permission to the consortium consisting of Hard Rock International, the based in Hong Kong Melco International Development, and the local company Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd. to begin the construction and further development of the first integrated resort project in Europe, which was given the lone Cyprus casino license late last year. This happened after Hard Rock International closed the door on a Spanish integrated resort project and moving to a more promising Cyprus deal.

But stock market filing also showed another major interaction, which happened rather quietly. Melco’s filing papers with the Hong Kong Sock Exchange means that it had made the agreement to purchase Hard Rock Investment’s stake in the whole joint project. At the initial part of the venture both companies held equal 35.37% of the shares, but this deal will result in Melco’s share rising to the impressive 70.74%. This means that the company will take the lead on the project and will have the right to execute bigger control over its future development.

The reason behind this sudden decision might be the fact that the company has decided to curb its brave ambitions to develop overseas and instead redirect its resources toward the new project they recently announced. Hard Rock International, which is owned by Florida’s Seminole Tribe revealed its intentions to renovate the recently purchased Trump Taj Mahal, which is located in Atlantic City.

The initial plans for the remodeling of the outdated property amounted to $375 million, but the company recently announced that the current budget amounts to $500 million. The price the casino operator will receive for its stake in the Cyprus joint project was not publicly disclosed, but it is sure the amount of money will help the company with its future ventures.

The joint Cyprus resort is expected to welcome its first customers in 2019, since the building process is expected to take some time, but the contract the companies have signed gives them the permission to open a temporary venue in Limassol, as well as four satellite facilities, which will offer slot machines only in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta, and Paphos. The completed integrated resort will offer to its customers 136 gaming tables, 1,200 electronic gaming machines, a 500-room luxury hotel with a conference hall. In addition, the site will host the usual wide variety of dining, shopping and leisure options, ready to provide the customers with a good time.