The Cyprus Government has granted a three-month extension to bids for its casino license to the dismay of the consortium of the Florida Seminoles’ Hard Rock international and Lawrence Ho’s Melco International Development, local sources report.
According to ‘In Cyprus’, the extension comes after requests from Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts and Cambodia’s NagaCorp.
The initial deadline for submission was July 5, but the two companies argued they needed more time to reach an agreement regarding the land acquisition and time to overcome state bureaucracy.
Bidder Melco International Development, who is building the Hard Rock International has informed the government in writing of its disagreement with the extension and has insisted that the original timeframes should be followed.
“There is certainly an issue of credibility over the procedure and questions regarding the length of the extension,” an insider told The Cyprus Weekly.
However, the source also noted that State was forced to give the extension “otherwise the casino licensing would have been left with just one bidder.”
The new deadline for submission of the final proposal has been extended to October, with the government aiming to announce its decision before the end of the year.