North Cyprus – the Casino Capital of Europe

FROM rambling through the lush mountainous landscape by day to gambling the night away in the plush North Cyprus casinos, the North is truly the playground of the twenty-first-century tourist.

North Cyprus casinos are mainly in Kyrenia (the tourist hub of the North), although casinos can be found in holiday hotspot Famagusta as well as the island’s capital, Nicosia.

Needless to say, the competitive choice of casinos is enough to put a smile on even a professional poker face. And for those who don’t fancy a flutter, the hotel-casino resorts boast a wealth of on-site amenities – expect deluxe accommodation, beach clubs, health clubs, pampering spa packages, fine dining and an abundance of evening entertainment including spectacular stage shows, piano bars, jazz bars, cocktail bars and even nightclubs. The hotel resorts really do combine luxury and elegance with indulgence and excitement.

Take the five star Colony Hotel based in Kyrenia, home to its own sporting club offering the ultimate gaming experience with all the trimmings. Or the Rocks Casino, part of the opulent five star Rocks Hotel overlooking the Mediterranean sea with private beach terrace.

Also worth a visit is the Dome Hotel & Casino, the oldest hotel in Kyrenia that has undergone a fabulous facelift in recent years and is within an olives throw of the spectacular 13th-century harbour buzzing with bars, restaurants, and boutiques.

Viola Casino, the newest kid on the block, is attached to the swanky five star Savoy Ottoman Palace and offers high tech gambling facilities and membership to its Players Club.

And if its size that matters, Jasmine Court Hotel, also located in Kyrenia, has the largest casino in Eastern Europe (and the Middle East, depending on one’s political/geographical definition of Cyprus). Jasmine Court is also the most popular casino on the island and attracts visitors from all around the world.

The popularity of North Cyprus casinos generally has meant the North has seen a significant increase in weekend visitors (from the south of the island, mainland Turkey, and the Middle East, where gambling is restricted or banned). Not only has this boosted the economic fortunes of the North, this prosperity is reflected in the increasing number of top-class hotel-casino resorts.

The five star Kaya Artemis Resort, just outside Famagusta, is one of the areas newest hotels and is hugely popular with holidaymakers and thrill-seekers alike. It’s impressive Las Vegas-style casino offers every gaming option under the Cyprus sun.

In fact, all casinos in the North offer a competitive range of games to suit every gambling taste, from the serious spender to the slot machine novice. And if the roulette wheel has got your head spinning you can always indulge in the (cheaper) thrill of observing the fortunes of the professional poker faces.