Melco Closes Two Cyprus Casinos Due to COVID-19 Curfew
Melco Resorts & Entertainment has shut down two casinos due to a curfew set in Cyprus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the globe, almost every area of the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic in some form or fashion. While some areas are just now getting hit hard, others are facing a second wave of cases. In Cyprus, the second wave of infections is strong, and it has forced Melco Resorts & Entertainment to shut down two of its gaming venues temporarily. Cyprus Casinos is the subsidiary of Melco Resorts that decided to shut down venues as lockdown measures pick back up.
On Thursday, November 12, an official announcement was made on the website of Cyprus Casinos. The company said that its Paphos satellite casino was closing along with its Limassol casino. These venues will not reopen until November 30, at the earliest.
The closures are part of a new way of lockdown measures that are taking place in both the Paphos and Limassol districts. Each of these regions are having a difficult time containing the virus and it continues to spread at a rapid pace.
A curfew has been set for 8pm through 5pm in the affected areas, and movement is completely banned during these times. Of course, the casinos are most busy during the evening hours, so the lockdown causes the businesses to shutdown instead of trying to draw in players in the daytime hours.
On Thursday, the Limassol casino shut down at 5pm. The Paphos closed even earlier at 3pm. Additional non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down temporarily in the districts as well.
Two Cyprus Casinos Still Open
For Cyprus Casinos, they still have two venues that are offering services at this time. This includes a property in Ayia Napa and Nicosia. The casinos in Nicosia offers services from 3pm until 10:30 pm during the week. On the weekends, the venue is open longer, from 6:30 am until 10:30 pm. The facility in Ayia Napa is open from 6:30 am until 10:30 pm.
A satellite casino is also in operation in the area of Larnaca by Cyprus Casinos. However, this casino did not reopen when the other properties did. Back in March, the casinos were shut down due to the onset of the virus. The Larnaca facility never reopened. Back in June, officials of the company said they were moving the unopened casino to a new site and it would reopen eventually, but a date was not provided.
Melco Entertainment, Hard Rock International and a Cyprus based operator created a consortium years ago and in 2016 were given the right to offer the first land-based casinos in the region. By the next year, Hard Rock would leave the group, though Melco would continue with the casino plans.
The first casino launched in Cyprus in June 2018 in Limassol. This casino will function through 2021 and then the City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort of Melco will open. It is located next to the temporary casino site. A total of €550 million was spent on the project.
The agreement in Cyprus also included satellite casinos, of which two are now closed due to the virus. If the number of coronavirus cases do not slow down, the remaining regions may be subject to lockdown as well. The island of Cyprus is tiny so it would be easy to see a mega outbreak occur in the region.
The two casinos closed may also remain closed through December if officials decide to extend the current lockdown due to the increase in case count. The hope is that the closure will keep people at home and the virus will be unable to continue its rapid spread.