Cyprus government to issue license for first casino resort as boost to battered economy

Cyprus' government says the Cabinet has decided to issue a license to build the bailed-out country's first casino resort.

Spokesman Christos Stylianides said Thursday that the license will be granted to the successful bidder within 12 months in order to provide a quick boost to public finances and help the battered economy with jobs and revenue.

To prevent the collapse of its wobbly banking sector and avoid bankruptcy, Cyprus signed in March a 23 billion euro ($30 billion) financial rescue deal with it euro partners and the International Monetary Fund.

Under the deal's terms, Cyprus forced large depositors in the country's two biggest commercial banks to take steep losses on their savings. The country also imposed restrictions on money transfers and withdrawals to head off a bank run.