The casino industry in Turkey has not seen development in the recent years, but the status quo could change soon, as officials are warming up to the idea of gambling venues in the Turkish region. In order to attract more travelers and boost the local economy, the authorities in Turkey have decided to face the Eastern countries with their new gambling offerings and target tourists which visit the country. The Turkish Hoteliers Association advised this week that the best move at the moment would be to introduce a new tourist-only gambling location which is expected to welcome a higher number of Chinese tourists.
It is a known fact, that Chinese tourists dedicate a lot of their time for exploring new countries and experiencing their culture. Another feature of some of them is their willingness to spend money on gambling and especially on high-roller activities. According to travel agents data, there are 261 million Chinese traveling around the world, but only as many as 1 million of them pay a visit to Turkey. The government is willing to turn the situation around and opening gambling venues operating with foreigners only could be one of the ways to boost the Chinese presence in the gambling field.
Proposed Plan for Action
Timur Bayındır is the President of the Turkish Hoteliers Association (TÜROB) and he stated this Tuesday that the building of new gambling facilities has the potential to make Turkey a more Chinese-friendly location. In his statement in front of journalists, he pointed out that these tourists enjoy spending and placing their bets on gambling, so the country can benefit a lot if it attracts their attention with special tourist-only casino venues. The situation in the moment shows that Chinese tourists prefer neighboring countries such as Georgia, Bulgaria, and Romania because they have gambling venues.
There was even the proposal for a location where the said casino facility could be constructed and this is the island of Yassıada in the Marmara Sea. This island is available for construction work and it could welcome a large gambling venue which to attract the Chinese tourists and potentially increase their overall number. According to him, the island is idle at the moment and could use a gambling venue which to increase its popularity among foreigners. Something which is affecting the number of tourists at the moment is the fact that regular airline ticket prices between China and Turkey could be extremely high and to this, the low number of flights is added.
One of the reasons for the interest in building a new gambling facility might be the continuous conversations about the largest casino complex in Europe being built in Cyprus. The neighboring location has recently confirmed that the plan is back in the discussion. Macau’s Melco International and its Cypriot partner Cyprus Phassouri Ltd are planning to begin work on the €600 million project which will be named City of Dreams Mediterranean. The expected launch date of the new casino resort should be some time before 2021, and according to Melco’s chairman Lawrence Ho, the project will be prioritized since this is the first operation of the company outside of Asia.