The gaming regulator in Cyprus has reached an agreement with three different companies to perform detailed checks of international junket operators before they are given the green light to set up shop at Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s under-construction City of Dreams Mediterranean.
According to local news outlet in-cyprus, the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Authority will use the trio of companies to conduct due diligence checks on all of Melco’s prospective junket partners to ensure they have no ties to illegal activities such as money laundering and financing of terrorist groups.
The unnamed companies include one from the US, one from the UK and a third based out of Cyprus and Malta.
“We want the Cyprus casino to operate on the basis of international standards of full transparency, especially at a time when international pressure on Cyprus is increasing because of the citizenship by investment program and provision of passports to persons with criminal records,” the outlet quotes a source as saying.
The news comes after Australia’s Crown Resorts finds itself in the middle of an investigation by local authorities over its relationship with Asian junket operators following a series of dramatic television and newspaper reports in July.
Melco Resorts holds a 75% stake in the operating entity of City of Dreams Mediterranean, ICR Cyprus, with the remaining 25% owned by local firm Cyprus Phassouri Ltd (CPZ).
ICR Cyprus is currently running a temporary Cyprus casino facility plus three satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca and Ayia Napa.
The €500 million City of Dreams Mediterranean is scheduled to open in late 2021.