Betting in Girne (Kyrenia)

Published: 22/04/2013

Located on the northern coast of the island of Cyprus, the city of Girne (also called “Kyrenia”) has a history stretching back to primitive settlements of the Neolithic Era (5800~3000 BCE). It was colonised by Greek Achaeans at the end of the Trojan War and grew into an important seaport. During the past two millennia, the city went from Roman occupation to being ruled by the Byzantines, English and Venetians, followed by the Ottomans in 1571 and the British in 1878.

When Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, unrest continued between Cypriots of Greek and Turkish descent. The city of Girne fell during the invasion of Turkish forces in 1974, and by 1983 it had become part of the disputed “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” Expulsion of the Greek Cypriot population reduced the city to a town, and today Girne and its surrounding Kyrenia District count fewer than 300,000 residents.

Although Girne no longer enjoys its status as a bustling port, it has transformed itself into a major resort and tourist destination, especially focused on Turks and Britons looking for a Mediterranean holiday. As attractions, its historic harbour, ancient castle, sandy beaches and mild climate are supplemented by traditional cultural and religious fairs and festivals, flower shows, yachting races, concerts and theater performances. And Girne has embraced casino gambling with unparalleled enthusiasm.

Representative of local resort-style gaming venues is the Casino Galaxia on the east side of town, attached to the 202-room Oscar Hotel. Its gaming area features 160 gaming machines and ten table games. Also part of the holiday complex are three outdoors pools, one indoor pool, a private beach area, and a spa with a Turkish bath. And right next door is the Vuni Palace Hotel with its 3,000-square-foot “Viva! Casino Cyprus,” including 164 gaming machines, 19 table games, two restaurants, four bars and 170 guestrooms.

Another popular beachfront resort on the east side of town is the Cratos Premium Hotel & Casino in Catalkoy Village. The property is open 24 hours a day, featuring a 43,055-square-foot gaming floor with 267 gaming machines and 34 table games, accompanied by six restaurants, five bars and 410 guest rooms. Meanwhile, a bit further east and inland is the 105-room Malpas Hotel & Casino, featuring 100 gaming machines, 13 table games, three restaurants, a jazz bar and a nightclub. It is open from 9am to 6am daily and 24 hours on the weekend.

In the heart of Girne on the coast is the Dome Hotel and Casino, open daily from 1pm to 6am. It features 150 gaming machines, eight table games, a restaurant, a bar and 161 guestrooms. Just next door is the opulent Rocks Hotel & Casino, offering Blackjack, Roulette and Texas Hold’em, plus a spa, pool, private beach, six restaurants and 52 luxury guestrooms. And also adjacent is the luxurious 128-room Savoy Ottoman Palace and Casino, with 160 gaming machines and 19 table games. The property has a swimming pool, a reserved beach area, three restaurants, a bar and a health club with a Turkish bath.

Facing Kordonboyu Park and the harbour is the Casino Liman. It has 116 gaming machines and eight table games, attached to the 34-room Limani Hotel. Then, away from the waterfront on the thoroughfare known as Ecevit Caddesi is the Colony Sporting Club. Its facilities include the 94-room Colony Hotel and a casino with over 100 slot machines plus tables for American Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco, Stud Poker and Three-Card Poker.

Just west of the town centre facing the sea is the expansive Jasmine Court Hotel and Casino. Open 24 hours daily, its 53,820-square-foot gaming space contains 650 gaming machines and 22 table games. The property also has six restaurants, three bars and 192 guestrooms. And even further west along the coast are two large resorts that are part of the Grand Casinos group run by Voyager Cyprus Ltd: the Mercure Cyprus Casino Resort and the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel & Casino. Both offer live table games and slots in a 5-star resort atmosphere.

Published on: 22/04/2013

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