Cyprus will see the first land based casino licences issued in March or latest April of 2015, the Commerce Minister George Lakkotrypis said in a statement that the bill to regulate casinos will be submitted to parliament later in May 2014 and, once approved, the fast-track licence process will take eight months.

The northern side of Cyprus under the control of Turkey has seen casinos operate for years but southern Cyprus has not had the option before to operate casinos under government law however that is shortly to change.

“We estimate that the first licence will be issued in around March or April of 2015,” said Lakkotrypis, but did not state when the government expected the first casino to be up and running.

With high un-employment and Cyprus struggling financially a super casino resort is hoped to help create jobs and generate more tourism and taxes into the country.

It is expected that MPs will approve legislation to end the ban on casinos, however there is strong objections by the main communist opposition party Akel.

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